Mumbai: The RBI has warned banks, NBFCs and digital payment platforms against referring to its April 2018 order in dealing with virtual currencies. The apex bank said that the order has been annulled by the Supreme Court verdict, giving relief to people who invested in cryptocurrencies.
The RBI clarification came after reports that the State Bank of India and HDFC Bank citing the RBI order to warn customers against dealing in VCs.
"In view of the order of the Supreme Court, the circular is no longer valid from the date of the Supreme Court judgement, and therefore cannot be cited or quoted from," the RBI said in a notification.
"Such references to the…circular by banks/ regulated entities are not in order as this circular was set aside by the Hon'ble Supreme Court on March 04, 2020... As such, in view of the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the circular is no longer valid from the date of the Supreme Court judgement, and therefore cannot be cited or quoted from," RBI said.
Banks may, however, continue to administer customer due to diligence processes as per the governing standards for Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT), and obligations of regulated entities under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and ensure compliance with relevant provisions under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for overseas remittances.
India has been sceptical of cryptocurrencies and doubtful of their associated risks despite the raging popularity in recent years. However, RBI is exploring "whether there is a need for a digital version of fiat currency and in case there is, then how to operationalise it," while the government is in the process of bringing a bill on cryptocurrencies.