Facebook’s Libra may not be available for purchase in India

Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency Libra may not be available for purchase in India, according to a report from The Economic Times (ET) on Thursday.

“A person directly in the know,” told the news source that Libra and digital wallet Calibra wouldn’t be available in markets where “cryptocurrencies are banned or Facebook is restricted from operating in.”

Last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, banned any regulated financial entities from dealing with cryptocurrencies. A second person aware of the matter told ET that Facebook “has not filed any application with RBI for its cryptocurrency in India.”

India has reportedly also proposed a draft bill recently, banning cryptocurrency trading in the country as well as suggesting a 10-year jail sentence for those breaking rules. 

Facebook unveiled a plan for its “low-volatility” cryptocurrency Libra on Tuesday, which is expected to go live sometime next year. Calibra aims to help people send money to each other as easily as they send “a message or a photo” using its messaging apps Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, and a government-issued ID.

Update: Following the publication of this article, a Facebook representative told The Block in a message that "Calibra will be available in all places where FB is available and crypto is legal." As such, Egypt, China, and Cuba, which have banned Facebook, are among some of the nations in which Calibra will not operate.

About Author

Yogita is a senior reporter at The Block and covers all things crypto. Before joining The Block, Yogita worked for CoinDesk and The Economic Times. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @Yogita_Khatri5.