Sunny Ray is co-founder of Unocoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India. He’s also doubling as a business development manager at fellow crypto exchange Kraken. That’s because Unocoin is currently taking on the Supreme Court of India alongside fellow members of the IAMI, The Internet and Mobile Association of India.
The organization is challenging the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank. The RBI is proposing the banning of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies completely. The ban would mean Indians will not be allowed to own or trade cryptocurrency at all, nor will they be able to operate a crypto-related business.
Despite the obvious stresses that going to a Supreme Court to fight an incredibly damaging bill banning crypto can bring, Ray brings an optimistic tone to the conversation. “Not just Unocoin, but you could say the entire industry in India is coming together. Now our side of the story is being heard. It’s exciting to see!”
More Details on the Supreme Court Case: Crypto vs. RBI
Here’s a rundown of the results of the most recent case proceedings from the month of August:
August 8, 2019
- RBI contends businesses have no authorization to run exchanges. There is no law requiring such authorization.
- The Court seeks to answer the following questions:
- Why do cryptocurrencies even need banks?
- Are any companies actually going to be impacted by this ban?
- How are other countries treating Bitcoin?
- The court asks for proof of answers to the above questions.
- A document from Brazil’s recent cryptocurrency Supreme Court hearings is read to the court.
August, 14, 2019
- IAMI makes a statement on why banking support is important.
- Counsel for IAMI argues that RBI’s proposed ban isn’t supported by any studies.
- IAMI reads out judgements in stating RBI can’t act outside of banking regulations.
- IAMI counsel argues RBI Act and Payment Settlements Act are not applicable to cryptocurrency.
- IAMI counsel explains no other country bans it and any rulings should be coming from government legislature, not RBI.
August 21, 2019 – RBI’s turn to make a statement
- RBI says anonymity is a big problem, citing the European Union’s directive.
- RBI refers to numerous hacking incidence listed in their court filed affidavit.
- Many world famous personalities are speaking out against Bitcoin.
- RBI reads parts of the Payments Act.
- Judge says exchanges are covered by the act, so the argument is immaterial.
- IAMI’s counsel counters that no data is supporting RBI and that RBI is changing its stance from caution to outright prohibition unjustly.
As further details emerge relating to the proceedings of the case, it’s obvious what the two sides arguing about. The IAMI is arguing that regulating cryptocurrency without imposing an outright ban is the best solution and that imposing laws similar to the ones being used in America. Specifically those being used in the state of Wyoming, which will allow cryptocurrency-related organizations to continue doing business without compromising the financial or personal well-being of the public.
The RBI on the other hand is basically arguing that cryptocurrency harms society and that both central and retail banks must act to protect consumers from the potential of significant financial losses.
So What’s Next?
So far it seems the judge in the case is hinting that the RBI is indeed out of its jurisdiction and can’t willingly force crypto businesses from exchanging value, and that any such attempt should be carried out through the country’s legislature. Since the case itself is ongoing, there’s no telling what his final decision will be. However, like many other cases and hearings taking place around the world, it seems having societies at large understand Bitcoin’s place in the world is the more important piece of the puzzle.
To this point there isn’t a single country in the world successfully imposing a ban on cryptocurrencies. Which begs one question.
What Will Governments Do To Stop Private Companies from Launching Cryptos?
It makes sense for Sunny Ray to give his opinion on Facebook Libra, since the struggle for private companies to battle the same governments will expose the true value of digital assets running on public and democratic blockchains. Ray doesn’t think Libra itself will last, but also believes there’s no such thing as bad publicity when to Bitcoin.
“The fact that Libra is getting the President of the United States to tweet about cryptocurrency is exciting…hopefully we can use it as an on-ramp to get people into Bitcoin. Unfortunately right now it just looks like a fiat-backed cryptocurrency with all the advantages of Bitcoin stripped away.”
Ray’s right, and many people agree with him. Especially Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who says recent meetings with Switzerland aren’t doing anything to appease her concerns about Libra.
As the race to Bitcoin adoption rages on, governments, private companies and individuals fighting for libertarianism will have to work to understand each other. While all of that is happening, Bitcoin bans will likely probe futile. At least that’s what purists are hoping for.