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Future of cryptocurrency in India continues to hang in the balance

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Digital assets back in the spotlight after RBI asked banks not to deny merchants any services

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 31, urged banks not to cite their 2018 order as a reason to refuse banking services to customers trading cryptocurrencies. She stated that her 2018 order was overturned by the Supreme Court this March and that it would be inappropriate for banks to continue relying on the order.

However, the central bank urged banks to continue other due diligence procedures for cryptocurrency traders under the rules related to anti-money laundering and terrorism prevention.

What does the RBI circular of 2018 say?

In April 2018, the RBI published a circular instructing banks to ensure that customers who trade in cryptocurrencies do not have access to banking services. The circular came after years of suspicion among RBI officials about the legitimacy of virtual currencies issued by private parties.

The central bank has repeatedly warned of the perceived risks these unregulated private currencies pose to investors and the financial system. The 2018 circular was seen by many as an attempt to discourage citizens from buying cryptocurrencies. By banning banks from allowing transactions in cryptocurrencies, the RBI effectively banned any significant rupee investment in cryptocurrencies.

Why did the SC lift the RBI’s 2018 order to the banks?

The Supreme Court overturned RBI’s 2018 circular in its March ruling on the Internet and Mobile Association of India vs. RBI. The Supervisory Committee noted that in the absence of a legal prohibition on the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies, the RBI cannot disproportionately restrict trading in these currencies. The court believed that such restrictions would interfere with the fundamental right of citizens to engage in any trade deemed legitimate under the law.

Is this a seal of approval for cryptocurrencies from the RBI and the Supreme Court?

No. When the RBI regulation was repealed, the SC merely stated that there is currently no legal basis to severely restrict cryptocurrencies. The court may not hold this view in the future once a law is passed in parliament banning the use of cryptocurrencies. The RBI, on the other hand, may have been forced to release the current clarification just because some banks recently cited their 2018 circular (which is now void) to discourage customers from trading cryptocurrencies.

Banks were reluctant to let their customers trade cryptocurrencies due to uncertainty about its legality. Meanwhile, the center is considering a proposal to impose a total ban on cryptocurrencies. It is noteworthy that in 2017 an interdisciplinary committee set up by the center recommended a ban on trading and possession of cryptocurrencies.

What is the future of cryptocurrencies in India?

Cryptocurrency skeptics say there are good reasons to believe that governments around the world will eventually ban all cryptocurrencies. They argue that governments and their central banks will not allow their monopoly power over money to be diluted.

The Indian government has given contradicting signals in this regard. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in March that there will not be a complete ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. However, the center plans to launch the Bill on Cryptocurrency and Official Digital Currency Regulation, 2021, soon, which will contain provisions that completely ban the use of all cryptocurrencies. The future of cryptocurrencies in India is still pending.

Cryptocurrency

Crypto retreats as bitcoin and ethereum lead mild sell-off

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Bitcon and Ethereum prices fell 4% on Friday. Photo: Yuriko Nakao / Getty Images

The cryptocurrency market saw a small sell-off on Friday morning, with Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD), the world’s first and second largest coins, down around 4%.

Bitcoin, currently trading at $ 37,866 (£ 27,259), hit levels of $ 41,330 on June 15, a key resistance area of ​​$ 41,250, but has continued to decline since then.

This week it was rocked by an announcement by the US Federal Reserve that it could hike rates through the end of 2023. Assets deemed risky, such as certain stocks and crypto, have also been weighed down by ongoing fears that the Fed may unwind its bond purchase program earlier than expected.

Bitcoin has been in decline for the past few days.  Chart: Yahoo Finance

Bitcoin has been in decline for the past few days. Chart: Yahoo Finance

On Thursday, the World Bank also rejected a request from El Salvador to help introduce Bitcoin as legal tender.

The bank said it could not support El Salvador’s plans due to the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and the transparency drawbacks.

It came when the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reiterated its warning that people “should be ready to lose all their money” when investing in cryptocurrencies.

The regulator estimates that 2.3 million adults in the UK now own crypto assets, up from 1.9 million last year, with more and more people viewing them as either a complement or an alternative to mainstream investments.

Enthusiasm for crypto assets is also growing. More than half of crypto users said they have had positive experiences so far and are likely to buy more, from 41% to 53%, according to the FCA. Fewer people also regret buying cryptocurrencies, from 15% to 11%.

Sheldon Mills, FCA’s Executive Director, Consumer and Competition, said, “The market has continued to grow and some investors have benefited from rising prices.

Watch: What is Bitcoin?

“However, it is important that customers understand that if something goes wrong, they will likely not have access to the FSCS or the Financial Ombudsman Service as these products are largely unregulated.

The story goes on

Cryptos have recently been empowered with institutional support. Several organizations, including MicroStrategy (MSTR), have invested billions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, and traditional financial firms like PayPal (PYPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have started managing the asset on behalf of customers.

“While things may seem calm to the inexperienced, behind the scenes activity is still strong,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex. “Options markets are buzzing while institutions test strategies.”

He added, “Bitcoin has become an integral part of some of the most diverse portfolios around the world. Long-term private investors ride the wave. The builders of Bitcoin keep building. The first Bitcoin upgrade in four years has been approved and will take effect in November. The developers are working in anticipation of the upgrade. The community continues to improve the global financial networks. “

However, according to a survey by Bank of America, 81% of fund managers say Bitcoin is still a bubble.

View: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

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Cryptocurrency

bitcoin price: Top cryptocurrency prices today: Ethereum, Polkadot, Uniswap down up to 6%

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NEW DELHI: Major cryptocurrencies traded lower on Friday as US regulators delayed Bitcoin ETF approval. This has clouded the sentiment of crypto investors. However, digital tokens pegged to dollars have shown signs of resilience. The majority of the top 10 digital tokens traded with cuts at 9:30 a.m. IST.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a regulatory filing that it will seek public comments on a proposal to list Bitcoin ETFs with Cboe Global Markets Inc. It’s not the first time this year the SEC has delayed responding to crypto advocates.

Contrary to the views of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said more people are viewing crypto assets as a mainstream investment rather than “gambling” with ownership of bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies in the UK this year rose to 2.3 million adults.

Regulators have repeatedly warned investors about the “speculative” nature of largely unregulated crypto assets, which have fallen between 40 and 50 percent since peaking in May. However, global securities index publisher MSCI is considering the introduction of indices for cryptocurrency investments, another step towards mainstream adoption for digital currencies.

“It was an eventful week for cryptos. Both BTC and ETH have been trading almost unchanged since the beginning of the week. We might see a small sell-off as sellers become more active. Polkadot remains under tremendous selling pressure The dollar-pegged cryptocurrency Tether, which is usually very stable, has risen slightly, “said Edul Patel, CEO and co-founder of Mudrex.

Bluechip venture capital funds, known for placing risky bets, like to invest in Indian crypto and blockchain startups, but say the uncertain political environment stands in their way.

Crypto shopping cart: Quick Glance (Source: coinmarketcap.com, as of 9:30 a.m., ACTUAL on 06/18/2021)

  • Bitcoin: $ 37,963.57, down 2.32 percent
  • Ethereum: $ 2,346.29, down 3.65 percent
  • Tether: $ 1.00, up 0.06 percent
  • Binance Coin: $ 354.07, down 0.99 percent
  • Cardano: $ 1.48, down 3.62 percent
  • Dogecoin: $ 0.3052, down 2.73 percent
  • XRP: $ 0.8415, down 1.84 percent
  • USD coin: $ 1, up 0.05 percent
  • Polkadot: $ 22.31, down 5.58 percent
  • Uniswap: $ 21.73, down 4.51 percent

Note: price change in the last 24 hours

Tech View from ZebPay Trade Desk

1inch was launched in 2019 with the aim of helping users find the best asset prices on decentralized exchanges. Within 2 years, 1inch has grown into one of the most widely used decentralized exchanges with over $ 290 million in their liquidity pool.

The 1 inch network is a collection of decentralized protocols with a DeFi aggregator and an Automated Market Making Protocol or AMM. Last December, 1inch launched its 1inch (1INCH) governance token, and the 1inch network was supposed to be managed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

ETMarkets.com

Tech-wise, 1inch has hit a ‘Morning Star’ pattern (Three Candle Trend Reversal Pattern) in the daily timeframe at the support level of $ 2.4 and is up nearly 56 percent, hitting the weekly high of $ 3.945.

However, the bulls failed to get a grip on the asset and failed to break the $ 4.00 resistance. As a result, the price has declined nearly 15.5 percent from its recent highs. To continue to bounce, 1inch needs to trade above $ 4 and close. The asset is currently trading at $ 3.319.

Main stages

Support: 2,442, $ 2.9

Resistance: $ 4, $ 5.4

The time is in UTC and the daily time frame is 12:00 PM – 12:00 PM UTC

(The views and recommendations in this section are the analysts’ own views and recommendations and do not represent those of ETMarkets.com. Please consult your financial advisor prior to entering into any position in any of the above assets.)

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Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin (BTC) flaws set stage for alternatives

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Bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency in the world, has some shortcomings – and that, according to a Cornell University professor, has led other digital currencies to develop more workable options.

It’s not as anonymous as people think, and “mining” bitcoin is bad for the environment, stressed economics professor Eswar Prasad. It doesn’t work well as a currency either, he told CNBC on Thursday.

One interesting aspect is that other cryptocurrencies have come up with solutions to address some of Bitcoin’s shortcomings, said Prasad, who was formerly head of the China division of the International Monetary Fund.

1. Mining is harmful to the environment

Bitcoin mining refers to the energy-intensive process required to produce new coins and ensure that the payment network is secure and verified.

The electricity used to validate transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain as well as the mining process is “certainly not good for the environment,” said Prasad.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last month that his electric car company is no longer accepting bitcoins as payment for environmental reasons, causing the price of bitcoin to drop 5% in minutes.

He has since made a U-turn, saying in a tweet on Sunday that Tesla will accept Bitcoin in transactions if it can confirm “reasonable” and “clean energy use by miners”.

Crypto miners use specially designed computers to solve complex mathematical equations that make a coin transaction effective. The miners are rewarded for their efforts by getting paid in the cryptocurrency.

However, the entire process of creating a bitcoin requires a lot of energy and, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, can use more electricity than entire countries like Finland and Switzerland.

On the other hand, Ethereum – the second largest cryptocurrency sometimes seen as an alternative to Bitcoin – is developing a different mining method that uses less energy, as Prasad pointed out.

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

It is called “Proof of Stake” and is the underlying mechanism for Ethereum, which activates so-called “validators” in the network if they can prove that they own ether or a “stake”.

Ultimately, it should eliminate the need for massive computing power to validate transactions, and the Ethereum Foundation claims it will use 99.95% less energy than before.

“This will be a lot less energy intensive and could offer many of the benefits that Bitcoin should offer. It could also make transactions a lot cheaper and faster, ”said Prasad.

It’s not there yet, however, he added.

2. Not so anonymous after all

Earlier this month, U.S. law enforcement officials announced they had recovered $ 2.3 million in Bitcoin paid to a cyber criminal group involved in the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline in May.

The FBI said its agents were able to identify a virtual wallet that the hackers used to collect payments from the Colonial Pipeline.

“The main idea of ​​Bitcoin … was to provide pseudonymity,” said Prasad. “But it turns out that if you use Bitcoin a lot, and especially if you use Bitcoin to get real goods and services, it will eventually become possible to link your address or physical identity to your digital identity.”

What is interesting, he said, is that there are other cryptocurrencies trying to fix this and provide more anonymity. He named Monero and Zcash as examples.

Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg via Getty Images

“So Bitcoin has really started a search for a better alternative and people seem to be looking for a medium of exchange that doesn’t have to go through a trustworthy institution like the government or a commercial bank – but that’s not quite there yet “said Prasad.

3. Doesn’t work well as a currency

In theory, Bitcoin should provide an anonymous and efficient medium of exchange, but “it didn’t work in that regard,” said the economics professor.

Rather, it is “slow and awkward” to use Bitcoin to pay for goods and services, and the market is very volatile, Prasad said.

Bitcoin is prone to large fluctuations in volatility, as evidenced by the 30% decline in a single day over the past month.

“So you could take a bitcoin to a store and get a cup of coffee one day and a lavish meal with the same bitcoin the next. So that doesn’t work well for the medium of exchange, “he said.

Bitcoin has become a speculative asset for people who hope it will increase in value instead of using it as a means of payment, Prasad said.

– CNBC’s Sam Shead contributed to this report.

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