Facebook’s own cryptocurrency is in the pipeline and is expected to launch by the first quarter of next year according to the BBC. Dubbed as “GlobalCoin”, the virtual currency is pegged for an initial launch in around 12 countries – with India being a key focus – and will offer payment options to users without a bank account. Facebook will start testing the currency later this year. According to the report, Mark Zuckerberg has already met with Bank of England governor Mark Carney in April, to discuss the possible opportunities and risks involved in launching a cryptocurrency. The firm has also been in talks with the US Treasury and money transfer companies like Western Union regarding the operational and regulatory framework for dealing with a cryptocurrency. According to a Bloomberg report from December 2018, Facebook was already working on a cryptocurrency technology that will let users transfer money on WhatsApp, focusing on remittances by Indian workers abroad. Can GlobalCoin fit within India’s legal framework? Facebook says India will be a key focus area for GlobalCoin, but India’s apex banking regulator as well as Central government have already - at least for all practical purposes - banned cryptocurrencies. In the Union Budget 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had openly declared cryptocurrency as “not a legal tender”, stating that cryptocurrencies were being used to run ponzi schemes. Following that announcement, the RBI had issued a circular to all banks in April, banning the use of cryptocurrency. However, the direction by the RBI…
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