Billionaire investor Tim Draper is of the view that India’s hostile position on cryptocurrencies is unwise and will hurt the country in the long-run.
In an interview with The Economic Times, Draper criticized the Indian government’s anti-cryptocurrency stance, the latest example of which is the statement issued by the Reserve Bank of India yesterday, which barred regulated financial institutions in the country from providing services to companies dealing with cryptocurrencies.
Draper, who is a long-time proponent of cryptocurrencies, argued that the government’s refusal to accept Bitcoin as legal tender was “the stupidest thing”.
“If I had a meeting with Modi, I would have let him know he is making a huge mistake”, he said.
Praising Bitcoin and blockchain as “the best things to have happened for business”, Draper went so far as to state that Bitcoin “should be the national currency”, and predicted that within 2 to 3 years, it will “be acceptable everywhere for transactions”.
He also brought up China as an example of the downsides of a potential cryptocurrency ban. Claiming that China lost out when engineers and entrepreneurs in the country shifted to Japan after the government’s crypto crackdown, he stated that, by contrast, all countries welcoming cryptocurrencies “have become huge beneficiaries”.
Draper warned that India is “stifling innovation” and added that if it were to close the doors on crypto, other countries will benefit from the “best and brightest” that India has to offer. He urged Indian authorities to focus instead on “creating an environment where these ideas can be tested and promoted”.
Draper also outlined the benefits of crypto and blockchain, claiming these new technologies have the potential to not only transform industries such as banking and healthcare for the better, but also make governments more efficient and transparent – all huge benefits for a country as large as India.
While Draper may see Bitcoin and blockchain as the next big thing, the Indian government seems far from impressed. The RBI’s recent announcement sparked fear in the country in regards to the possibility of a crypto ban looming on the horizon, and India’s crypto community rose up in protest, with many taking to Twitter with the hashtag #RBICantStopMe.
Despite several separate announcements and statements issued by various officials and entities, all of which have been far from crypto-friendly, India has yet to outline a definite policy on digital currencies.