Facebook Confirms Libra Will Not Launch in India Over Regulatory Issues

Facebook Libra Calibra India cryptocurrency cryptocurrencies

Facebook has confirmed it will not be launching its cryptocurrency and wallet services in India, citing the current regulatory climate for cryptocurrency businesses in the country.

The social media giant said it was “not possible” to launch the service in India, due to current regulatory restrictions on businesses in the crypto sector there.

According to local press, the decision was confirmed by a spokesperson for Facebook.

“There are no plans to offer Calibra in India. As you may know, there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time.”

The spokesperson is thought to be referring specifically to the restrictions introduced by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, which effectively blocked banks from servicing crypto businesses such as exchanges and wallet services.

As a result of the decision, several leading Indian exchanges have subsequently closed their doors, with a larger number of international operators closing their Indian-facing operations as a response to the measures.

The Reserve Bank decision is currently under consideration by the Supreme Court but is delayed pending further direction from the Indian government.

There are also reports of high-level government committees discussing measures that would outlaw the use of cryptocurrencies in India altogether, with possible criminal sanctions for breach — contrary to earlier reports of a new tough regulatory regime.

The issues in the Indian market show the challenges facing Facebook, as it lays the groundwork for launching its global stablecoin project.

Facebook has indicated it intends to apply for licenses and/or regulatory approval in countries and jurisdictions across the world, a move that could result in thousands of ongoing licensing applications, and thousands of different regulatory standards.

Their proposals have also met with opposition from central banks and regulators in Europe and the U.S., many of whom are wary of the potential impact of a cryptocurrency ecosystem controlled by Facebook.

While the Indian announcement will be a blow to Facebook’s plans, it is only one jurisdiction and regulatory system of many that the company will need to comply with in order to gain true worldwide approval for its cryptocurrency project.