Reserve Bank of India Denies Creation Of Blockchain Unit

Blockchain, News, Regulation | October 1, 2018 By:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, has denied recent reports that suggested it was setting up a unit to research cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI).

In August of this year, anonymous sources, familiar with the RBI’s plans, said that the central bank has established a new unit to research and possibly draft rules and supervise new emerging technologies in the future, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Last week, local news outlet BusinessLine reported that it filed a Right to Information (RTI) to get details on the new unit, including the sanctioned manpower strength, budget, equipment requirements, designation, academic and professional qualification of the unit head. In response, the RBI said that no new unit has been formally created in the bank.

“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose (Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence) mentioned in RTI query,” the central bank said. “Therefore there is no information to furnish in the matter.”

In April, the RBI issued a circular prohibiting financial institutions from providing banking services to individuals and organizations dealing in cryptocurrencies. The ban, which came into effect on July 5, has been challenged by several crypto exchanges in the supreme court and a final verdict is now awaited.