Facebook’s much-hyped cryptocurrency Libra may change the way payments are made across the globe, but reports are that India plans to steer clear of it.
According to a report in The Economic Times, India’s biggest business daily, Libra will not be available in India, for reasons that range from cryptocurrencies being banned in the country to Facebook being restricted from operating in it as the company has not filed any application with Reserve Bank of India for its cryptocurrency.
The Indian government recently implemented measures to discourage adoption of the likes of bitcoin fearing that they are instruments for laundering money, duping investors, evading tax, and financing terrorism.
Indian lawmakers have proposed a bill that would see Bitcoin holders jailed for up to 10 years. The more profit made on crypto—the longer the prison term.
Not being able to launch in India is a big blow as the country is Facebook’s largest market, accounting for more than 10% of its user base—the social media giant has 260 million users in India out of a global user base of 2.38 billion.
Even if Libra is a closed system that’s used for making peer-to-peer payments on its platforms such as Messenger and WhatsApp, it could invite the wrath of the Indian government and regulators.