Facebook has confirmed that the current regulatory situation in India does not allow it to launch its cryptocurrency project Libra in the country. A Facebook spokesperson told Economic Times over email that there are no plans to offer Libra in India.
The cryptocurrency industry has been dying a slow death in India with the RBI cryptocurrency ban. Many exchanges such as Zebpay and Koinex have shut shop and the trading volumes continue to go down putting pressure on existing exchanges. Moreover, recent reports from Bloomberg Quint on the ‘Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019’ have raised more questions about the future of cryptocurrency in India.
Calibra will respect the legislation. But we are looking to work with regulators to see if the legislation can be updated.Alexandru Voica, Facebook representative to Economic Times
India is Facebook’s largest market with an estimated 240 million active users. Without access to China, India and possibly Russia, Facebook Libra may look to other large markets such as Indonesia, Brazil and Thailand to fuel its ambitions, even as it faces increasing regulatory scrutiny from its home country the United States.
Not surprisingly, India is fast vanishing from the new world order of cryptocurrencies by losing opportunities that are coming its way. Libra was the perfect opportunity for the Indian government to test the waters as Facebook has shown a willingness to work closely with regulators. Libra can have a huge impact on the country that adopts its first, but sadly Indian regulators don’t seem to be bothered at all!
We did an analysis of the news on our YouTube channel for our Hindi speaking viewers: