The RBI has denied rumours it had formally created a unit to research AI and blockchain technology.
The clarification came weeks after Coin Crunch India investigated the rumoured unit supposedly created by central bank to “research and possibly draft rules” for the emerging technologies.
An article earlier published by the Economic Times, cited two anonymous sources who were “familiar with the central bank’s plans”.
However, Naimish Sanghvi, founder of Coin Crunch India, filed a Right To Information (RTI) request with the hope of substantiating the article’s claim, in a bid to get more information about the department and who was heading the unit et al.
In a reply, dated Sept. 26, the RBI denied the rumoured unit as written in the article:
“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose (Blockchain, Crypto and AI) mentioned in RTI query”.
So, while the RBI has formed a unit to “study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency,” it seems its stance on crypto use more generally has not softened.
In a move that shook the local crypto industry and has even caused exchange businesses to cease trading, the RBI issued a circular ordering banks to halt services to cryptocurrency businesses in April. With fiat currency withdrawals and deposits impossible as a result, exchanges have moved to survive on crypto-to-crypto trading, but volumes have suffered.
In response to the ban, various entities, including, exchanges, have filed several counter petitions with the Supreme Court, in what has become a combined case.
However, the case postponed during the last hearing but it is expected to resume soon.