Facebook has reportedly said that its digital wallet, Calibra, will not be available in India, as current regulations do not permit cryptocurrency transactions nor authorities are keen on having similar assets in the country.
“There are no plans to offer Calibra in India,” as “there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time,” Alexandru Voica, a Facebook representative in London told Bloomberg.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency, codenamed Libra, also will not be available in the social media giant’s largest country audience due to the RBI’s concerns around tax evasion and money laundering.
The country has long been a growing market for the social media network as more Indians come online, currently counting over 30 million active users who are forecast to surge to around 440 million in less than four years.
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India is drafting a law with stringent penalties
Other internet outfits, including Telegram and Signal, were also planning to roll out their cryptocurrencies in India as active users in the country have grown more than twice as fast as they are in other regions, including the United States.
Although both the government and the Reserve Bank of India have not imposed any restrictions on the P2P transactions, they completely forbidden cryptocurrencies. While the central bank has banned banks from dealing in virtual coins, the government is drafting a law that would propose a jail sentence for any crypto users.
In other countries, Facebook’s proposal for a new virtual currency, revealed last month, will be made available via its Messenger, WhatsApp and also as a standalone app.
While Libra will be officially unveiled next year, the much-awaited coin has already provoked a backlash, and many regulators worldwide warned it might face strict regulation if it takes off. However, a Facebook spokesperson said the Libra Association is speaking to potential partners from around the world and explained that “The blockchain project has multiple uses in smart contracts, supply chain management and so on – it’s not just for cryptocurrencies .”