The number of open town hall meetings for the Indian crypto community to voice regulatory suggestions has grown from four cities to eight. The organizer of the meetings has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com. Meetings will be hosted in four new cities in April and the best suggestions for crypto regulation will be submitted to the government, the organizer has explained.
4 More Cities Added
Blockchained India has added four more cities to its town hall roadshow meetings across India due to popular demand. Three meetings have already taken place — in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The next meeting will be on March 30 in Bengaluru. The four newly added cities are Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Kolkata.
News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Akshay Aggarwal, National Head and co-founder of Blockchained India. He explained on Monday that the four new meetings will be run by volunteers. While the dates still need to be confirmed, he noted that “The topics and everything else will be the exact same,” elaborating:
Tentatively we are looking at 6th for Kolkata, 13th for Goa, 20th for Ahmedabad and 27th for Pune.
Each town hall meeting has seen between 300 and 400 participants, with many more logging in remotely, the Bangalore Mirror reported. “Every presentation has been followed by at least 35 minutes of question-answer sessions — we had provisioned for 15 — and the sessions themselves have gone on for over six hours,” the co-founder was quoted as saying. Those who cannot attend the meetings in person can tune in remotely and voice their regulatory suggestions.
Submitting Ideas to Government
During the first three town hall meetings, participants shared their opinions about regulation in India and the best suggestions will be submitted to the government for consideration, Blockchained India has said. Aggarwal confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com the group’s plan to submit ideas to the regulators, stating:
All the suggestions will be compiled together in the report and one report will be submitted once all townhalls have happened. The report will be submitted to the decision makers and also, presented to the whole ecosystem at India Dapp Fest in June onstage.
“Only one [report] for all the 8 open townhalls [will be submitted],” he clarified. “We will take time to build out the quality report.” India’s crypto regulation is being drafted by an interministerial committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
Some Suggestions by Attendees
From the meetings already held, “One feedback that is common is the expression of regret towards RBI’s shadow ban for cryptocurrencies,” Aggarwal told news.Bitcoin.com. The central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April last year banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses. Some banks have also taken steps to close customer accounts that show signs of cryptocurrency transactions.
“Everyone says that [the RBI ban] was an intentional move to kill the whole ecosystem and they have succeeded in doing just that and taking India at least 3-4 years behind in terms of innovation,” the co-founder recalled. “That has been a real shot in the knees of every team that was doing any sort of work in this space in India. Some even stated that there hasn’t been a single good new project in this space from India after that banking ban took place.”
Aggarwal shared some of the suggestions made by attendees of the events held so far:
Lift the ban immediately, if it continues for over another one year, India would not be participating in this paradigm shift except as retail investors.
He further detailed: “Some have suggested jurisdictions in forward-looking states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana or Rajasthan that gives an experimental ground for cryptocurrency companies. If the experiment fails, we can then shut everything down in that jurisdiction, but until then let data suggest the way forward.”
Do you want to participate in these open town hall meetings? Do you have any suggestions for India’s crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.
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A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.
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