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India’s markets watchdog SEBI conducts overseas study tours on cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Tue, 04 Sep 2018, 03:32 am UTC

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) collaborated with regulatory authorities in Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom to study cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In its Annual Report 2017-18, the regulator said that it prepared a number of research papers/notes on various topics for providing regular information in areas including ICOs.

“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,” the report said.

SEBI said it regularly conducts study tour of its officials to overseas authorities, which help it gain deeper understanding of the systems and mechanisms.

“SEBI in the past has benefitted a lot from these experiences and the knowledge transfer helps improve the processes within SEBI,” it added.

Last year, SEBI established a new committee to explore and deliberate on emerging technologies such as blockchain, and their effect on financial markets.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued circular prohibiting banks from extending banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges. The country’s apex court, the Supreme Court of India, is currently hearing all hearing the petitions against the RBI’s circular and a final verdict is expected this month.

In a recently released report, the central bank noted the possibility of some cryptocurrency trading to shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode.

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