The second most populated country in the world is stepping up to the plate to consider Bitcoin and provide this digital, decentralized cryptocurrency an opportunity to flourish prior to regulating. With a population of over 1,232,530,000, India is a hotspot of potential for growth of the Bitcoin currency and community. Right on the top of the list of the most tech-oriented nations, India will take a leap forward should the Reserve Bank of India truly take a hands off approach towards the Bitcoin currency. As the Indian Rupee is calling for attention with higher rates of inflation, the Reserve Bank of India has voiced intentions of increasing the value of the Rupee and just keeping an eye on Bitcoin.
With a hands off approach, the Reserve Bank of India, has provided more time for the Bitcoin community in India to advance and expand before any concrete guidelines are put in place. The Bitcoin community in India can use this gift of time to develop Bitcoin related businesses in the space and also educate Indian citizens on the many opportunities for economic growth associated with Bitcoin. Should the Indian government impose guidelines down the road, the Bitcoin community will be prepared.
In the US, the Bitcoin community is experiencing a different narrative. Early this week, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee sent a letter to various executive agencies seeking more insight on the procedures, plans and policies already in place for regulating the Bitcoin currency. Bitcoin businesses in the US have less time to advance in a deregulated space. Fortunately to date, the US Senate is seeking clarity and not further regulations, but time is now of essence for the Bitcoin community in the US to safeguard against potential restrictions down the road.
While Bitcoin has continued to grow in prominence since 2009, the Indian government and in particular the Reserve Bank of India, RBI, would like to wait before putting in place any guidelines related to the currency. RBI Spokesperson stated, “As of now we are watching and learning about the developments in Bitcoins but are not regulating it.” The wait and see approach in the past has proven much more sound with technological development. As the US Federal Government took a “wait and see” approach back in the early 2000s, the internet in turn had a chance to flourish and flourish it did.
Elizabeth serves on the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors and as Secretary of the Board. She also serves Account Manager for BitPay, Bitcoin’s lead payment processor where she focuses on bringing charities, political candidates and non profits into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Elizabeth previously served as Director of Operations and Outreach for Bitcoin Magazine and as the Scheduler and Policy Assistant for a US Member of Congress. She has a background in public policy, grassroots activism, and a keen desire to promote decentralization and individual liberties. Elizabeth holds a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College (IL).