Recently, the Facebook CEO announced that the social media giant was investing in Reliance Jio, based in India. In the deal, Facebook will invest $5.7 billion in the platform in exchange for a 9.99% stake in Jio platforms. The deal between Facebook and Jio could be the catalyst for crypto adoption in India.
Facebook and Digital Currencies
In 2019, Facebook revealed the Facebook Libra Association, which is a group of companies working to launch the Libra digital currency. There are expectations that Libra could be used as a means of payment on platforms such as WhatsApp and Messenger. However, the company has faced a lot of regulatory opposition since announcing the deal.
The deal could help to boost India’s blockchain sector while helping to grow India’s digital payments sector. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has already been working on the development of the largest blockchain platform in the world. During the company’s AGM on August 12, 2019, they announced that they were working on the launch of a blockchain platform that would cover all sectors in India.
A Revolution in India’s Crypto and Blockchain Sector
Thus, far, a majority of the firms involved in India’s crypto and blockchain sector are startups. However, the Facebook Jio deal could change all that. When commenting on the deal, the CEO of WazirX, one of the major crypto exchanges in India, which was acquired by Binance, said the next logical step for the two firms was to explore crypto and blockchain projects in India. He noted that both companies were highly innovative and it was unlikely they would miss an important opportunity such as crypto and blockchain technology.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has been trying to make headway into India’s digital payments sector. The WazirX CEO noted that there was a good chance crypto would be a priority in this deal. For instance, he noted that the deal would make it easier to promote the Libra coin for users of WhatsApp.
Currently, Facebook is trying to gain regulatory approval for Libra. Recently the Libra Association announced changes to the Libra coin in a bid to placate regulators. It is not yet clear if Facebook plans to launch the Libra coin in India. However, the Supreme Court of Indian recently lifted a ban imposed on the processing of crypto by banks, which was imposed by the country’s central bank.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling, some experts within the crypto sector do not believe that Libra can join in India. For that to happen, they believe that further regulatory clarity by lawmakers would need to be provided.
The crypto sector is likely to enjoy a lot of success in India. If Facebook decides to launch the Libra coin in India, it would be a great way for Indians to be introduced into the crypto industry. However, Facebook would likely face the same regulatory hurdles it has been facing in other parts of the world. As a result, the company should be prepared for such opposition.
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