Amid cryptocurrency cases getting only tarikh-pe-tarikh (day-after-day) with hardly any progress, the Supreme Court finally set the deadline on February 25 hearing. The Court has asked the government to bring in a cryptocurrency policy within the next four weeks.
Ahead of the general election, while this is unlikely to happen, the Court’s order has definitely brought the focus back to the regulatory issues that cryptocurrency startups are facing in India. In fact, a group called Blockchain India announced plans to organise meetups across four cities — Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad — to compile a set of policy suggestions on cryptocurrency trading in India.
The report will be submitted to the Department of Economic Affairs, secretary Subhash Chandra Garg who is leading the panel chosen to create a draft cryptocurrency policy.
Let’s take a look at what happened in the crypto world last week!
Supreme Court Gives Centre 4 Weeks To Bring In Cryptocurrency Policy
The Supreme Court of India has directed the Union of India to come up with a cryptocurrency regulatory policy in the next four weeks.
The two-judge bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran also mentioned that in case the government fails to do so, the Court will come up with their judgement.
Speaking to Inc42, the earliest petitioner in the case (petitioner no. 2) advocate Vijay Pal Dalmia said that with yesterday’s (Feb 25) hearing, the Court has given one more and last opportunity to the Union of India to bring in a cryptocurrency policy in place. And, therefore, the Court refused to hear the other sides who were demanding the removal of the RBI circular.
Welcoming the order, Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency startup WazirX told Inc42, this is the first time that the Court has fixed a timeline for the government to introduce a regulatory framework around crypto assets.
Bitcoin Finally Witnessed A Surge
Last week, on February 24, Bitcoin hit $4.2K, registering the highest surge in the last two months since December 24, 2018. The crypto market cap, too now stands at $130 Bn, gaining almost $10 Bn last week.
The gain was largely attributed to Samsung providing inbuilt crypto wallets with its latest S 10 series of mobiles. Ethereum is set for another hard fork as two network upgrades that are known as Constantinople and St. Petersburg are expected to happen on February 28 at Ethereum’s block 7,280,000. The Constantinople was earlier postponed due to a software bug discovered last month.
Bitcoin Is Brilliant But, Not Good Enough For Tesla: Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk who owns 0.25 Bitcoin has clarified that the US-based electric car making company will not get involved in cryptocurrency.
In an ARK Invest’s podcast, Musk told Cathie Wood, “Bitcoin’s structure is brilliant but I don’t think it would be a good use of Tesla’s resources to get involved in crypto.”
While Musk agreed that crypto is a far better way of money transactions than the usual paper way, “Bitcoin is very energy intensive,” he said.
In the last one year, there have been numerous fake social media accounts impersonating Musk involved in cryptocurrency giveaway scams. Several verified Twitter accounts too, including those belonging to UK retailer Matalan and US publisher Pantheon Books, were taken over and used to impersonate the Tesla CEO. Once hijacked, the hackers changed the accounts’ names and profile pictures to those of Musk, before sharing a tweet calling for people to send him cryptocurrency.
In other news, Bitcoin hodlers are now losing their power on the crypto market, according to Eric Stone, the head of data science at Flipside Crypto. In contrast to the first three quarters of 2018, the Q4 saw activities from hodlers’ accounts as well. As a result, while more Bitcoin came into the market the Bitcoin whales started losing their grip on the market.
It is worth noting that 99% of the Bitcoin is stored in around 8.5% of the wallets.