The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, has created a task force to research cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence.
Citing two unnamed officials, a report published by the Economic Times on August 27 reveals that the new unit will “research and possibly draft rules and supervise new emerging technologies in the future.”
Spearheaded by RBI governor Urjit Patel, the task force was created about a month ago and a general manager has already been appointed, but has not yet been formally announced.
According to one of the unnamed sources, “as a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.”
The new unit was announced amid an icy attitude by the RBI and the Indian government to the crypto space. RBI issued a circular on April 6 preventing banks from offering financial services to cryptocurrency-related firms, which has since been challenged in an Indian court. In the meantime, cryptocurrency exchanges operating in India have circumvented the financial services ban by allowing only crypto-to-crypto trading on their platforms.
India’s skeptical attitude toward cryptocurrencies comes in no small part from a slew of crypto scams perpetrated on or from Indian territory, including multi-billion dollar scam Bitconnect.