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Reserve Bank of India denies setting up blockchain and AI research unit

Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 06:12 am UTC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has refuted recent reports that suggested it established an AI and blockchain technology-focused research unit.

In August, leading Indian news outlet The Economic Times reported that the central bank has set up a new unit to focus on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. The report, which referred to anonymous sources, stated that the unit was a month old and had a chief general manager to lead it.

Coin Crunch India on September 26 reported that it filed an RTI (Right to Information) to get details on this report. It said that in response to the RTI query, the central bank said:

“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose (Blockchain, Crypto and AI) mentioned in RTI query. Therefore there is no information to furnish in the matter”.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued circular prohibiting banks from extending banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges. Indian crypto exchanges took the matter to court and a final verdict is now awaited.

Meanwhile, leading Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay last week announced that it is stopping its exchange activities. In an online post, it said:

“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities. At 4 p.m. today (28 September 2018), we will cancel all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and credit your coins / tokens back to your Zebpay wallet. No new orders will be accepted until further notice.”

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