India’s leading influential tech lobby group is turning its back on crypto advocacy in a major setback for the South Asian nation’s local ecosystem.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India, an 18-year-old lobby group, said on Thursday it was disbanding the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council, its four-year effort to support and lobby for the nascent tech category.
The association said in a statement that it was forced to make the decision because “a resolution to the industry’s regulatory environment is still highly uncertain.”
“The association wishes to use its limited resources for other emerging digital sectors, which make a more immediate and direct contribution to digital India, including deepening financial inclusion and promoting Central Bank-issued digital currency. [CBDC]. BACC members were briefed on the decision at a meeting held here today,” he said.
The move is the culmination of years of frustration for the Indian crypto industry, which felt that the lobby group’s influence and reach had not been able to deliver enough decisive results, they said. to TechCrunch from people familiar with the matter.
IAMAI felt it was risking its reputation by continuing to push for crypto adoption and support, two different people familiar with the matter said.
Either way, the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council shutdown brings local industry back to the drawing board at a time when local exchanges and other crypto businesses are see a sharp decline in trading volume in the wake of India application of taxation on virtual digital assets.
India’s central bank continues to force the hand of banks not to engage with crypto platforms in India, a move that has made the ramp-up a nightmare for businesses, people familiar with the matter said.
Many of the country’s investors and entrepreneurs have struggled for months to find new and more effective ways, including engaging with Niti Aayog, a powerful think tank, to liaise with policymakers, sources have said. direct knowledge of the matter. Niti Aayog has largely resisted any involvement in the crypto industry, sources said.
Indian lawmakers, for their part, have encountered several industry faces over the past year, but so far they are of the view that the rapid adoption of crypto trading has hurt most consumers. and that more safeguards should be put in place, the sources said.
In the wake of the uncertainty, the local ecosystem has seen some talent leave the country and a growing number of local entrepreneurs have built themselves for overseas markets and avoided serving customers in India, the second largest internet market. in the world.
“Our stated belief as an industry has always been to have an enduring dialogue with regulators and stakeholders and address concerns about progressive regulations. As an industry, we will continue to positively engage with all stakeholders and develop emerging technologies, including Web 3.0,” said Ashish Singhal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CoinSwitch Kuber, and Sumit Gupta, co-founder and managing director of CoinDCX, in a joint statement. The duo served as president and co-president of the BACC.