Facebook's newly announced cryptocurrency, Libra, which will be a rival to Bitcoin, will not be launched in India. Indian government has made sure that Libra does not see the light of day in India, and now the social giant has confirmed that it has no plans of launching its crypto project in India.
A Facebook spokesperson said that "There are no plans to offer Calibra in India," "As you may know, there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time." reported Bloomberg.
Due to the strict regulations by the Reserve Bank of India, including the ban on dealing in cryptocurrencies, launching Libra will be next to impossible in India. Earlier, The draft of Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019 had proposed a 10-year-long prison term for people who "mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies". Subhash Garg, India's economic affairs secretary also showed uneasiness related to private cryptocurrencies in the country. Litigation challenging the RBI's ban on cryptocurrencies is currently underway before the Supreme Court of India (SC).
Facebook representative, Alexandra Voica said that "Calibra will respect the legislation", "But we are looking to work with regulators to see if the legislation can be updated".
According to Bloomberg, Voica also mentioned that Facebook will be in touch with the governments all over the world for both Libra cryptocurrency and Calibra digital wallet. She however did not mention if India will be part of those discussions or not. She said that Libra blockchain project is not just about cryptocurrencies but has other uses as well like supply chain management and smart contacts.
Libra will be managed by many organizations together, including Uber, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal. Although it is at an early stage of its development and is expected to be launched in 2020.
Edited by Ishita Gupta