At a time when Venezuelans and Argentinians have been fast moving from their local currencies — Bolivar and Peso — to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, the latter too has been on a down slide for the last 11 months.
This Monday, Bitcoin plunged below $5K, making it an unviable currency owing to increasing cost of mining. The next halving is due on May 23, 2020 which will further decrease the coin reward from 12.5 to 6.25.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $4.34K, lowest in the last one year. Columnist Peter Vogel counts various reasons behind the cryptocurrency downturn. Among few are steep decline in tech markets across the world and the ongoing war over fourth most valuable cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash.
Let’s take a look at this week’s crypto developments!
Cryptocurrency Case: Finance Ministry Defends RBI’s Concerns In Supreme Court
In a counter affidavit to a two-judge Supreme Court bench hearing a batch of cases on the legitimacy of cryptocurrency in India, the finance ministry defended the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on crypto entities from access to any banking services.
Representatives from the finance ministry submitted that the RBI circular as well as warnings issued by finance ministry on December 29, 2017 and by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech on February 1, 2018, are in line with the first inter-ministerial (interdisciplinary) committee’s recommendations on cryptocurrencies.
The committee in its report recommended that warnings should be issued to the effect that cryptocurrencies are neither coins nor currencies and consumers should stop trading in these currencies. It also recommended that enforcement agencies take action against such trades to protect consumers.
Another inter-ministerial committee, led by Department of Economic Affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, is yet to draft its report. The committee is scheduled for further meetings in December 2018 and January 2019, the finance ministry said.
Twitter Campaign Pushes For RBI Circular Rollback, Regulatory Framework For Crypto
In the absence of a regulatory framework, the status quo of cryptocurrency in India continues to be stuck in a stalemate even as trading is limited to crypto-to-crypto as against crypto-to-INR.
“We are worried about the RBI’s banking ban on crypto. It has hampered the entire crypto sector of India and the innovations that come along,” says Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange WazirX. Shetty is of one the crypto entrepreneurs who have voiced their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs on various platforms.
In September, Shetty sparked off a Twitter campaign to seek the community’s support and government’s attention towards regulating cryptocurrency in India.
Another similar campaign, an online petition on Change.org started by crypto exchange, Bitbns, also seeks to gather support for cryptocurrencies. It demands the repeal of the RBI circular. As of now, the petition has been signed by 44,634 people and is expected to reach 50K.
ABC Wins The Bitcoin Cash War
Bitcoin having hard-forked multiple times to Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, a new war has emerged in Bitcoin Cash, the world’s fourth-biggest cryptocurrency. The two powerful factions Bitcoin SV and ABC have been trying to gain control over the network.
However, the ABC faction led by crypto investor Roger Ver has now won the race called as the Nakamoto Consensus, in which computers that support the Bitcoin Cash network voted to go with either ABC or SV, which offered different technical improvements to the network.
Roger Ver, however, tweeted, “No one wins a war. Some just lose less than others.”
Bitcoin’s Daily Transfer Volume Close to MasterCard’s Now
Despite all the bad news, there are good news too. According to a recent report, Bitcoin is inching closer by the day towards overtaking MasterCard in terms of daily transfers.
A news daily Trustnodes reported that going by the official numbers released by MasterCard in the payment behemoth’s latest quarterly report, Bitcoin is fast becoming a more serious rival than ever.
Currently Bitcoin daily transaction is nearly 73% of MasterCard’s daily volume of $11 Bn.
In another news, customers in France can now shop at tobacco shops with Bitcoin, reported Reuters. According to the news agency, a French company has decided to integrate cryptocurrency with the sale of tobacco.