According to a fresh story from the Economic Times, India’s central bank has recently created a new unofficial division which is to deal exclusively with research and regulations pertinent to upcoming technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and AI.
Although the article from the Economic Times states that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not yet officially announced this new unit, it is said to have been operational for the past month.
This internal unit is said to be specifically tasked with increasing India’s ”intellectual capital in the face of emerging technologies,” and it will actively supervise such upcoming technologies, conduct research on their applications as well as potentially draft rules.
According to a person supposedly familiar with the matter, ”the RBI […] has to explore areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.”
This seems to indicate that the RBI is not yet entirely certain of exactly how influential its new blockchain and AI-focused unit will become, but that the RBI recognizes the need to be informed on possible decisions relating to cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
According to Piyush Sing,h who is a managing director of financial services at Accenture, this is ”extremely important and the right thing to do from RBI’s perspective.” However, why the RBI has not publicly announced this internal unit remains unknown.
The RBI has previously commented on the matter of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, as they warned users, holders, and traders of virtual currencies of risks related to dealing in such currencies back in 2017.
However, the RBI has more recently urged the Supreme Court of India to regulate cryptocurrencies, something which Toshi Times has previously covered.
At the time, the RBI’s senior counsel Shyam Divan stressed that cryptocurrency had ”immense policy dimensions” and, therefore, the sector needed to be more fully regulated.
This also plays into the larger narrative of the RBI trying to increase its intellectual capital in relatively modern areas of monetary policy.
Earlier this year, the RBI announced that it was founding a new data sciences laboratory, which would combine professionals with backgrounds in computer science, data analytics, statistics, economics, finance, and econometrics.
This data science unit is believed to commence its work in December of this year, and its findings will be used to determine inflation targeting, policy enforcement, and banking regulations.
It seems likely that this new unit on cryptocurrencies, blockchain and artificial intelligence will serve a similar purpose – albeit a bit sooner, as the Economic Times piece indicates that the cryptocurrency unit is already operational – despite not having been officially announced.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the cryptocurrency industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.