India’s finance minister and reserve bank governor both cautioned India against embracing cryptocurrency this week. Their reasoning? It’s what authorities in other countries are telling them. But the father of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, would oppose India’s ban on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin if he were alive today. Here are three reasons why.
1. Gandhi Envisioned an Independent India
Speaking to a pool of Indian reporters on Sunday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India will follow other countries’ lead on crypto:
“[The] Reserve Bank Governor spoke about it during our turn to intervene. I got the sense that many countries were cautioning on rushing into this.”
India’s “The Week” reported several other remarks from Sitharaman.
Her entire case against cryptocurrency consists of little more than letting other countries dictate India’s cryptocurrency regulations.
But Mahatma Gandhi led a non-violent revolution, unprecedented in all world history, for India’s sovereignty and independence from foreign dictates.
“My ambition is much higher than independence. Through the deliverance of India, I seek to deliver the so-called weaker races of the Earth from the crushing heels of Western exploitation in which England is the greatest partner.” -Mahatma Gandhi, “Young India” (Jan 12, 1928)
Sitharaman merely emphasized that other countries are pressuring India’s government to continue its hard-line stance against crypto.
There was no substantive comment or analysis addressing the reasoning behind these warnings. Neither did Sitharaman comment on the potential benefits of cryptocurrency, such as bridging India’s staggering wealth inequality between rich and poor.
2. Cryptocurrency Is For India’s Unbanked Poor
There were 369 million Indians living in poverty in 2015 – 2016. That’s many millions more than the total population of the United States.