Finally, some good news for the Indian crypto community. In addition to India considering launching a BRICS cryptocurrency, the Indian government has not submitted the crypto ban bill called the Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019 in the tentative list of bills to be introduced this Winter Session of Indian Parliament.
Meanwhile, the hate train on Bitcoin goes on. The former European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet has once again slammed cryptocurrencies stating that cryptocurrencies are not real.
Speaking at a Beijing-based media group Caixin’s annual conference, Trichet stated,
“I am strongly against bitcoin, and I think we are a little complacent. [Bitcoin] itself is not real, with the characteristics that a currency must-have. Even if [the cryptocurrency] is supposed to be based on underlying assets, I am observing a lot of speculation. It is not healthy.”
Amid Libra facing huge backlash across the world, Bitcoin after seeing a spike earlier this week has been on a downslide and is currently trading at $8.5K.
Let’s take a look at the major developments of the week!
Banning Cryptocurrency Is Not On The Indian Parliament’s Winter Session Agenda
The lower house of the parliament, the Lok Sabha has released the tentative list of bills that India’s government is expected to introduce and pass during the upcoming Winter Session. Interestingly, while the Personal Data Protection Bill has made the cut the Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019, is missing.
Preparing the draft Bill, the Garg Committee, in April, had recommended not only a complete on cryptocurrency trading in India; but also recommended a huge penalty and up to 10 years of imprisonment for trading or holding cryptocurrency assets.
Even though the Loksabha Bulletin has released only a tentative list and is subject to change, it has brought some momentary relief to the cryptocurrency community of India who has welcomed the news and expectedly so.
In a slew of cryptocurrency-related cases being heard in the Supreme Court of India, the Indian government had submitted the draft of the Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency 2019 and solicitor general Tushar Mehta had then informed the judges that the bill would be introduced in the parliament once it reconvenes.
BRICS Mulling Official Cryptocurrency
The government holding off on any plans of a complete prohibition of cryptocurrency trading could also be seen in sync with some recent global developments. While China is believed to have softened its stance, reports have also emerged that India, China and Russia are looking at a possibility of a common cryptocurrency to counter the US Dollar.
Speaking at BRICS Summit on November 14, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that the five BRICS nations had also discussed creating a common cryptocurrency for mutual payments as the grouping was reducing the share of payments in the US Dollar.
HTC And Binance Announce Limited Edition EXODUS 1 Smartphone
Consumer electronics company HTC and global cryptocurrency exchange Binance have announced a limited edition smartphone EXODUS 1 – Binance Edition.
EXODUS 1 – Binance Edition claims to be the world’s first blockchain phone to integrate the Binance Chain and offers native support for Binance DEX, allowing users to trade on the decentralised exchange on the go.
The smartphone also offers preloaded Binance and Trust Wallet apps.
Commenting on the announcement, CZ (Changpeng Zhao), CEO of Binance stated, “Crypto will make every smartphone both a POS terminal and payment device, cutting out most other middlemen. The implications are profound and far-reaching, and the most innovative smartphone makers are racing to integrate crypto use for mass adoption and seamless usability.”
CME Group Announces Jan 2020 Launch for Bitcoin Options
Leading derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has announced that options on its Bitcoin futures contracts will be available for trading starting January 13, 2020, pending regulatory review.
In a statement shared with press, Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products commented, “We have worked closely with clients and the industry to establish a robust and increasingly liquid underlying futures market here at CME Group, and we believe Bitcoin options will now offer our customers greater precision and flexibility to manage their risk.”
CME Group had started offering Bitcoin futures in December 2017 launch. Since then, the company marked a humongous growth in its demand. Among the key stats shared are:
- The average daily volume of 6,500+ contracts in 2019, equivalent to about 32,500 Bitcoin
- 22 successful futures expiration settlements since launch
- 3,500+ individual accounts trading
- 47%of trading volume is from outside the U.S.
Russia’s FSB Linked to $450M Bitcoin Disappearance
The collapse of once the largest Russian crypto exchange named Wex, back in 2018, has been a puzzle for many. The company had then reported a sudden disappearance of $450 Mn worth of cryptocurrencies.
BBC in its investigation has now found that the hackers are no ordinary crypto enthusiasts but Russia’s intelligence agency the Federal Security Service (FSB) which could be behind the disappearance.
According to the report, one of the site’s co-founders told BBC News that he was forced to hand over information about customer’s digital wallets to individuals from the FSB in 2018. The information later led them to seize the consumers’ money of worth $450 Mn at the time.