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Crypto Bank Opens Physical Location in India's Capital as Potential Regulatory Ban Looms

  • Posted On - 2021-03-02 13:27:33

India’s Unicas crypto bank opened its third physical branch this week in the capital, New Delhi. Previously it was opened in Jamnagar and Jaipur.

Unicas reportedly allows customers to access fiat and crypto services at the physical place and provides digital loans using crypto holdings as collateral. The bank aims to launch 50 branches across India by the end of the year and 50 more in the next year.

Its plans may be stifled, however, Because of the crypto bill which is awaiting to be passed in the ongoing session right now in the parliament. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill is intended to "prohibit all private cryptocurrencies" at the first glance while also creating a regulatory framework for a digital rupee issued by the Reserve Bank of India. However, the bill also includes certain exceptions on promotion of the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

In an earlier report to Cointelegraph, Cashaa CEO Kumar Gaurav said "there is no way any government" can ban crypto given its nature as a global, decentralized system. However, he opined that the Indian government is attempting to put a guard  on crypto scams with the proposed ban.

"The government is only trying to put a full-stop to any scams operating in the name of crypto," said Gaurav. "Overall, banning crypto will not be a win for anybody. And I trust even the government understands that very well." Further he added, "Depriving the country of the technology and opportunity which is being created by crypto is not very different from depriving someone of the internet."

The proposed legislation for the crypto is currently being considered in the upper house of India’s Parliament as part of its budget session, which is in recess until Sunday. However, the government is reportedly considering a legislative shortcut to pass the bill using the “ordinate route.” This method would require the president of India, Ram Nath Kovind, to issue an ordinance when Parliament is not in session.

It is unclear now how the bill passage would potentially affect Unicas bank’s operations in India. An anonymous source claiming to be a senior Indian Finance Ministry official said earlier this month that the use of all cryptocurrencies would be completely banned in the country under the proposed bill. 

Regarding this matter, Nischal Shetty, CEO and founder of India’s WazirX exchange, earlier said “The government isn’t in a hurry to make a decision” on crypto and might consult with stakeholders rather than outright banning it.