Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project Libra is facing regulatory roadblocks across the globe, including its biggest market India. In an interview with Bloomberg, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg stated that the Indian government is not comfortable with Libra.
“Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained. But whatever it is, it would be a private cryptocurrency and that’s not something we have been comfortable with.”Subhash Chandra Garg to Bloomberg
It is worth noting that Facebook has not contacted Indian regulators, even as it has reached out to the authorities in the US and Europe. India was considered central to its plans, with initial reports around Libra being used for Whatsapp payments. Last month, there were reports that Libra may not get the regulatory nod in India.
India’s cryptocurrency industry has been dying a slow death with the RBI banking ban. This has led to the closure of major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Zebpay and Koinex and Indian businesses moving their operations abroad.
In addition, reports around the draft Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019 has further dented the confidence of the Indian cryptocurrency community. India will be a critical market if Facebook Libra has to succeed in its grand ambitions. Can Mark Zuckerberg & Co. convince Narendra Modi and Co.?