The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted the two-year-old ban on central bank cryptocurrency trading in the country, which many referred to as a "historic" judgment.
The Reserve Bank of India had banned cryptocurrency trading in April 2018, prohibiting banks and other financial institutions from providing “any services related to virtual currencies”.
At the time, the RBI said the move was necessary to curb ring fencing in the country's financial system. It has also been argued that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be treated as currencies because they are neither made of metal or exist in physical form, nor have they been government-stamped.
The 2018 central bank announcement panicked several local startups and companies offering cryptocurrency trading services. Almost all of them have closed the shop since then.
In today's decision, the bank, headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, overruled the central bank's circular for reasons of disproportionality.
A group of petitioners, including the Internet and Mobile Association of India, had partially contested the central bank's circular, arguing that India should consider most other nations that not only allow cryptocurrency trading, but also their own virtual currencies have brought the way.
Nitin Sharma, a technology investor, said the Supreme Court decision was "historic" because it would ultimately clarify the matter.
“Historic day for crypto in India. We can now be innovative. The whole country can participate in the blockchain Revolution, ”said Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO of the Bitcoin exchange platform WazirX.