India’s Securities Regulator Conducts Global Study Tours On Cryptocurrencies And ICOs

News, Regulation | September 4, 2018 By:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has collaborated with regulators in Japan, the UK, and Switzerland to study cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO).

In its 2017-18 annual report, SEBI revealed that it sent officials to three countries to study how international regulators deal with cryptocurrencies and gain deeper understanding of their systems and mechanisms.

“SEBI organized study tours to Financial Services Agency (FSA) Japan, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland to study initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies,” the report said.

SEBI said that the board has greatly benefited from the experiences as well as the knowledge transfer, which has in turn augmented the developments within the institution.

“SEBI hosted a number of international organizations including regulatory bodies and business and ministerial delegations in 2017-18,” SEBI said. “These meetings foster deeper levels of cooperation, facilitate a better understanding of the Indian securities market and facilitate further collaboration with visiting institutions.”

SEBI is not the only Indian watchdog to pay attention to other countries’ crypto approach. Last month, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI), the country’s central bank, published its annual report for 2017-18 with a section on cryptocurrency. The report highlighted the regulatory approaches of various central banks in the US, Japan, South Korea, and China towards cryptocurrencies.

“On a global level, regulatory responses to cryptocurrency have ranged from a complete clamp down in some jurisdictions to a comparatively ‘light touch regulatory approach’…Japan and South Korea account for the biggest shares of crypto asset markets in the world,” the RBI said.

The RBI also formed an inter-departmental group to explore the feasibility of introducing a rupee-backed digital currency to battle the rising costs of managing paper currency.

“In India, an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency,” the bank said.