Week Two of RBI Vs. Crypto at the Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court of India has this week listened to further hearings in the landmark case against the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses.

On Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, proceedings continued with arguments presented by Ashim Sood, the legal counsel for the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). 

In the wake of both public and industry-led petitions, the IAMAI brought a consolidated case against RBI’s imposition of a blanket ban on banks’ services to crypto businesses back in April 2018, which came into effect in July of that year. 

This week, Sood appeared before court alongside Nakul Dewan, who is acting as legal counsel for domestic cryptocurrency platforms.

This article draws on the extensive live reporting of Indian crypto regulatory news and analysis platform Crypto Kanoon (CK) via Twitter, as well as private correspondence with CK co-founder Kashif Raza. Embedded quotations are drawn from CK’s live summary of the court proceedings and are therefore not verbatim.

Jan. 22: some key contentions

As reported last week, Sood had argued against a definition of cryptocurrencies as currencies sensu stricto, noting that they can oscillate between serving as a commodity or store of value and as a medium of exchange. This debate on classification was picked up again in proceedings on Jan. 22, with Dewan