The securities market regulator of India SEBI organised ‘study tours to Financial Services Agency (FSA) Japan, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland to study Initial Coin offerings and Crypto-currencies’, reveals the Annual report published by the regulator.
The Securities and Exchange board of India (SEBI) published its annual report for the year ending March 31, 2018. Annual reports are great way to understand what is going on within the organisation. Especially in the space of blockchain and Cryptocurrency, where they remain silent in the media, but can’t hide facts in the report as we saw with the annual report from RBI.
SEBI report provides some interesting developments that happened in the last fiscal year. From doing study tours to multiple countries’ regulators to learning about alternative trading markets like bitcoin, SEBI spent time learning about cryptocurrency and we might see it reflect in the September 11 hearing in Supreme court.
SEBI’s involvement in the space isn’t secret. In August 2017, more than a year ago, SEBI constituted a ‘Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technologies (CFRT)’ to study how technology is changing the traditional ways of trading. The committee is chaired by T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education and also includes the likes of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder and chief of PayTM.
One of the goals of the committee was to study blockchain and distributed ledger technology along with Digital payment systems and virtual currencies.
In 2017-18, SEBI also invited speakers to talk about blockchain and Bitcoin, the report says.
In 2017-18, SEBI invited experts to speak on topics such as ‘Cyber Threat Landscape, Corporate Insolvency Resolution, and Bitcoin & Blockchain Technology, etc.SEBI Annual Report 2017-18
Despite all the development, we are yet to see what the regulator has to say about cryptocurrencies and its trading. The finance ministry of India have ruled out the use of cryptocurrency as a legal tender so the only other alternative left for trading is if Cryptocurrency becomes a new asset class and be traded as a commodity, coming under the regulatory purview of SEBI.
SEBI has an important role to play for the future of Cryptocurrencies in India, as all eyes now set for September 11 hearing.