Cryptocurrency players on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court's order lifting two-year old ban on trading in virtual currencies by the Reserve Bank of India, saying the move will encourage them to expand their offerings in the country.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed banks and financial institutions to provide services related to cryptocurrencies.

Concerned over the risk associated in dealing with virtual currencies, such as Bitcoins, RBI in its April 2018 circular, prohibited trading in such digital currencies.

Pundi X chief executive officer Zac Cheah said the lifting of the ban on crypto only reinforces the fact that crypto and blockchain are the technologies of the future.

"It brings in cheer for crypto / blockchain companies such as Pundi X who have done some remarkable work in this space and encourages us to expand our expert offerings to potential geographies such as India," Cheah said in a statement.

Bitbns CEO Gaurav Dahake said the verdict would give rise to a greater ecosystem in a country where innovation has always had a place, and rope in new investors, better support for blockchain-based projects, and will create more jobs.

"It's such a morale boost and will definitely help us bring back the high-volume traders who were concerned about the tips involved in our P2P transaction system, and have been unable to transact small amounts. We are happy that they finally have a resolution," Dahake said.

Raghu Mohan, CEO and Co-Founder, IBC Media, a marketing solutions company that works with blockchain companies, said it is a step forward to empower entrepreneurs who build innovative business models to solve multiple grassroots problems in the country using crypto.

"Crypto needs to be regulated in India, and we are all for it. Tax it and bring in KYC and anti money laundering (AML) measures to avoid any misuse if need be. In fact, regulating crypto is far easier than regulating physical cash," IBC Media's CEO and co-founder, Raghu Mohan, said.

Springworks, a Bengaluru-based revenue-funded, HRTech startup said with today's decision developers can now work on blockchain projects around the world and participate in the upside.

"This is a historic decision by the Supreme Court. The RBI circular meant that even though there was no ban on crypto, developers and startups were indirectly disincentivised to work on crypto projects because of the banking ban," Kartik Mandaville, CEO, Springworks said.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice R F Nariman, in its 180-page verdict said, "When the consistent stand of RBI is that they have not banned VCs (virtual currencies) and when the Government of India is unable to take a call despite several committees coming up with several proposals including two draft bills, both of which advocated exactly opposite positions, it is not possible for us to hold that the impugned measure is proportionate." PTI HV

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