Značka: India

From tuk tuks to COVID tests, YouTuber tests Bitcoin use cases across multiple countries

A YouTuber started a journey in September to see whether he could survive solely on Bitcoin as a means of payment while traveling to 40 different countries.Speaking to Cointelegraph on Monday, YouTuber Paco De La India — or “Paco from India” — said though the spread of omicron had somewhat altered his original travel plans, he was still surprised at how many people had accepted Bitcoin (BTC) in countries where crypto was in a legally or regulatory grey area. Beginning his journey in the Indian city of Bengaluru, Paco sold his belongings in September 2021 and mostly relied on BTC donations to fund his trip — which, so far, has taken him across India, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and Cambodia.The YouTuber, who said he preferred to use non-custodial wallets and Lightning for BTC transactions, originally planned to visit 40 countries for 10 days each, but COVID restrictions had somewhat altered his itinerary. Paco is working around mandatory quarantines, many countries’ requirements for tourists to stay within their borders for at least 14 days, and additional costs for polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests.Paco, speaking from Siem Reap, CambodiaAccording to Paco, two people conducting his COVID test in India for travel to the UAE accepted BTC in lieu of fiat rupees without hesitation. In addition, he was able to negotiate with test takers in Thailand for a PCR test to travel to Cambodia. The YouTuber attributed part of the reason behind the acceptance of crypto payments to officials more concerned with verifying vaccine certificates than COVID tests.“At the end of the day, it’s a piece of paper,” said Paco. “It’s just a piece of paper which is no way possible to verify. The only thing that they’re checking right now is the vaccine, because of the QR code.” Related: Cryptocurrency Adoption: How Can Crypto Change the Travel Industry?Though many countries have announced plans to verify the authenticity of COVID-19 test results using blockchain technology, there does not seem to be an international standard for immigration officials to recognize tests conducted in foreign nations. For example, travelers flying to the United States are required to complete a rapid COVID test within 24 hours of arrival, but not all health passport apps recommended by U.S. airlines can recognize QR codes provided by foreign testing centers.In addition to COVID tests, Paco said he had been able to survive on Bitcoin as a method of payment often by sheer chance, never forcing crypto on an unsuspecting party and surprised at how many random vendors were open to it. According to the YouTuber, he had been forced to avoid most public transportation in these four countries and use his debit card to fuel his bike, but was connecting with more people on the ground.[embedded content]“Thailand is super crypto-friendly,” said Paco. “Cambodia is another [super friendly] place. UAE, it looks like that but I feel it’s just between the richest people.” He added:“I have changed my approach a lot. I’ve gone more from talking to the old people who have already lived their life to finding young people who are really tech savvy […] They’re really curious about [Bitcoin]. It’s always: they want to make money. Everyone just looks at Bitcoin as making money.”

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Indian INX exchange reportedly plans to list Bitcoin futures ETF

Despite the ongoing uncertainty about cryptocurrency regulation in India, local financial firms are backing new ventures aiming to launch Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF).Torus Kling Blockchain, a joint venture between Cosmea Financial Holding, a financial firm backed by former Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh, and Kling Trading India, is preparing to launch Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) futures ETFs in India, The Economic Times reported Thursday.The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s major stock exchange, the India International Exchange (INX), to launch crypto ETFs alongside investment products tracking major metaverse-related companies listed in the United States.According to the report, Torus Kling Blockchain is planning to set up the ETFs in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) by the end of the current fiscal year in India, or by the end of March 2022. The ETFs are subject to approval by India’s International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and other regulators, the report notes.​​India INX CEO Venkataramani Balasubramaniam said that the stock exchange and GIFT IFSC are looking at “exploring the launch of digital asset-based products” and has already applied with the IFSCA under “regulatory sandbox.”“This is a part of our product innovation initiative to benchmark offerings with other international financial centers. We will be launching products in these new-age assets in compliance with the prevailing laws after receiving all required post regulatory approvals,” the executive noted.Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that is a “tip of the iceberg” of the upcoming fintech innovation and adoption, Torus Kling Blockchain CEO Krishna Mohan Meenavalli said. “Exchange trade products allow trading through regular investment accounts, bypassing the hassle and security concerns of cryptocurrency exchanges,” he said.In late 2021, India’s Securities and Exchange Board reportedly approved Invesco Mutual Fund’s Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund, aimed at investing in blockchain industry companies.Related: Pakistan’s central bank reportedly wants to ban cryptoThe news comes amid India INX aggressively extending to other markets, reportedly moving to allow local investors to access trading on Russia’s Moscow Exchange earlier in January. As previously reported, Russian financial giant Sber launched its own blockchain-related ETF tracking Coinbase and Galaxy Digital in late 2021.

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Green and gold: The crypto projects saving the planet

It seems as though the potential benefits of cryptocurrency are often overshadowed by the technology’s inherent vulnerability to exploitation. And it’s true, crypto adoption does come with risks. Over the past year, governments from around the world have raised concerns that crypto could be used to finance terrorism or other illicit activity like money laundering. There have been prohibitive measures everywhere from China to Nigeria, with many crypto exchanges forced into a legislative chokehold. While crypto has its challenges, it has also become a tool for policymakers and activists wanting to make the world a better place. The climate crisis During 2021, public scrutiny of Bitcoin (BTC) energy-intensive mining practices dominated headlines all year long — and for good reason. According to Digiconomist, Bitcoin mining consumes a similar amount of energy to an entire small country like the Netherlands or the Philippines.However, many environmental activists are already using the very same technology as a tool in the fight against climate change. For example, smart token contracts have allowed charitable institutions to raise funds in a way never seen before.Many of these “charity tokens” have a tax system that charges a fee with every transaction, which can then be wired to a charity of choice. For example, the World of Waves (WOW) token is on a mission to restore the planet’s oceans and combat climate change. In 2020, world’s oceans may have stored up to 1 sextillion more joules of heat energy than in 2019. Warmer water contributes to melting sea ice. Seas may have absorbed enough heat last year to boil 1.3 billion kettles of water. Buy $WOW & support climate conservation efforts. pic.twitter.com/4ehOOc2iq0— World of Waves (Official) (@World_Of_Waves) November 13, 2021The project has a transactional tax of 11% that is redistributed back to all holders, 3.3% to the liquidity pool and 4.4% to the WOW charity wallet. As the charity wallet grows, funds are extracted monthly for donations towards nature conservation activities and the preservation of wildlife. According to the project’s Twitter page, over $49,000 has already been donated. WOW chief operating officer Kristijan Tot told Cointelegraph:“It’s all about making a positive impact on causes around the world while shining the spotlight on NGOs and creators.”In this way, charitable giving is hardwired into the token’s underlying algorithm. Not only that but holders are also incentivized to invest and stay invested in the project. WOW isn’t the only crypto project using this type of technology to raise funds for an environmental cause. Solarcoin distributes tokens as a reward to people who install solar arrays in their homes or businesses. The theory is that when the price of the coin exceeds the energy production cost, solar will effectively become free. The project’s website states:“As of today, cryptocurrencies are worth over US$2 trillion. Most of that value was distributed in exchange for carbon-intensive crypto mining. What if it was given out to people who produced energy for free?”Black Lives MatterOf course, environmental conservation isn’t the only issue crypto projects have attempted to tackle over the past year. In June, the world watched in outrage as George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. His death sparked renewed momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement — and no shortage of controversy in the crypto community. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a group attempted to cash in on the turmoil by releasing a George Floyd token, a project rife with shaky tokenomics and an unclear payment system. It was also reported that a person attended the protests holding a sign claiming “Bitcoin will save us.”Despite the obvious bad taste of these isolated instances, the wider community mainly rallied for the cause. For example, the Giving Block introduced a solution for their users to specifically donate to nonprofits supporting the Black Lives Matter movement such as the Chicago Community Bond Fund, Movement for Black Lives and the Bail Project. Back in 2020, the crypto fundraising platform partnered with Gitcoin to launch its #CryptoForBlackLives campaign. Initially, Gitcoin matched donations up to $25,000 through a community grant. However, that tally was boosted to over $100,000 by the campaign’s completion.Black activists have also worked tirelessly to ensure their communities are able to benefit from the monetary gains that crypto has to offer. Founder and lead engineer of Guapcoin (GUAP) Taviona Evans says that her platform was able to accomplish more in 2021 than any year prior. GUAP was created to help close the wealth gap in Black communities and support Black-owned businesses in the United States. She told Cointelegraph:“We’ve sparked awareness about crypto among a population with less access and education in crypto and finance — and we continue to do so.”Improving healthcare Another area of charitable giving where crypto projects have made a difference this year has been healthcare and mental health. In 2021, the health of many people around the world suffered immensely as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread. Perhaps one of the more unexpected results of the coronavirus was its profound effect on crypto and blockchain, which can be traced to the pandemic’s genesis in late 2019. From Australia to Mexico, blockchain technology is already being used to verify the authenticity of COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates. A number of crypto funds and tokens have also emerged to support communities around the world that have suffered from outbreaks of the virus. In April this year, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal created the COVID-Crypto Relief Fund as a crushing second wave of the virus tore through his home country of India.The fund was able to raise a whopping $429.59 million by mid-October, with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Australia cricketer Brett Lee and Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan among its contributors.#India @CryptoRelief_ @VitalikButerin @RyoshiResearchThe #India #Covid #Crypto Relief Fund donation has been spent! This is good news for everyone! For the ones that supported the donation, and also for the ones that opposed! What do you think #ShibArmy?https://t.co/dbxNx84bVF pic.twitter.com/fe7w5swdge— SHIB INFORMER (@ShibInformer) September 26, 2021

Is crypto a force for social good or bad?If there has ever been a year to prove that crypto is truly morally agnostic, it was 2021. Around the world, the same technology used to finance terrorism was also used to fund healthcare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the world argued about the impact that energy-intensive BTC mining projects have on the environment, others created crypto projects and tokens to save our planet.As we move into 2022, whether crypto is a force for good or bad remains in the eyes of the holder.

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Axis Bank issues financial contract on state-backed blockchain platform

Indian financial services giant Axis Bank issued a financial contract between two domestic businesses by using a government-backed blockchain platform called Secured Logistics Document Exchange (SLDE).SLDE was developed and released on Jul. 28, 2021, by India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry to serve as a digital document exchange platform that uses blockchain-based security protocols for data security and authentication. According to the official announcement, Axis issued a letter of credit, a financial contract that guarantees payment upon conditions, between Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India and Lalit Pipes & Pipes Ltd. With SLDE, the Indian ministry aims to improve transparency in terms of audits, capital requirements and logistics. Axis Bank’s president of wholesale banking products, Vivek Gupta, added:“This transaction reinforces Axis’ commitment to lead the digitization in Transaction banking space.”The state-backed blockchain platform also includes a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculator that “allows for commodity-wise comparison of GHG emissions and total cost of transportation, including their environmental cost, between movement by road and rail.”Official poster with Ethereum logo. Source: Axis Bank.The above image, originally shared by Axis Bank for the occasion, shows the logo of Ethereum (ETH) — strengthening the bank’s commitment to blockchain acceptance.Related: Indian state government to accredit Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 blockchain startupsDespite the lack of discussions and regulations around cryptocurrencies, the central and state governments in India have taken proactive measures to implement blockchain technology across various business and development sectors. At the end of last year, the state government of Telangana launched an initiative for early-stage Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 startups and blockchain developers to help build solutions to real-world problems. Speaking to Cointelegraph, the Government of Telangana’s director of emerging technology, Rama Devi Lanka, highlighted the government’s intent to expedite blockchain implementations across a variety of use cases:“Some of the interesting use cases that the state has already piloted in Blockchain include — T-Chits (chit funds in blockchain), supply chain (seed traceability), e-voting (digital voting platform built using blockchain and AI) and more.”

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Cion Digital secures funds to expand blockchain orchestration platform

Cion Digital, a developer for an enterprise SaaS blockchain orchestration platform, announced on Tuesday that it had closed out its recent seed funding round at $12 million. The round was overseen by Green Visor Capital and 645 Ventures who have since joined Cion Digital’s board of directors. Additionally, Cota Capital, Epic Ventures, Hourglass Capital Partners, BAT Ventures, Greycroft and Ulu Ventures were also participants. Following the raise, the company said that it intends to allocate these funds toward its new resource and development center in Pune, India in an effort to further expand the project’s payment infrastructure. There, the team hopes to roll out new methods of cryptocurrency adoption for traditional financial services as a part of their current orchestration platform. Additionally, this funding will be used to push new standards in regards to interoperability.According to Cion Digital’s co-founder Snehal Fulzele, its business model will consist of a fixed, monthly platform fee on top of a transaction fee that scales with the number of digital assets being processed. Cion Digital said it hopes to use these expanded features to reach a wider, more diverse pool of clients. These expanded features include a fintech lending protocol, which provides an easy way for patrons to invest in crypto as well as allowing customers to take out fiat loans using crypto as collateral, and a protocol for vehicle dealing that is able to create a crypto-financing plan aimed at younger consumers.

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Indian taxman recovers $6.62M from WazirX for evading tax on commission

Indian crypto exchange WazirX has reportedly paid over $6.6 million (49.2 crore rupees) following non-payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on trade commissions. The total recovery includes the pending tax of $5.43 million (40.5 crore rupees), the interest and a penalty for non-payment.Government officials from the Central GST and Central Excise committee (CGST Mumbai Zone) recovered the funds from the crypto exchange after detecting a GST evasion of $5.43 million on the commissions. A typical GST fraud involves creating fake invoices without actually moving the goods between the seller and the buyer.Officers of CGST Mumbai East comm’te have detected GST Evasion of Rs 40.5 Cr. on commission of Wazir X Crypto Currency & recovered Rs 49.2 Cr. in cash as GST, interest & Penalty today on 30.12.2021 from Zanmai Labs Pvt. Ltd. @nsitharamanoffc @mppchaudhary @cbic_india @PIBMumbai— CGST Mumbai Zone (@cgstmumbaizone) December 30, 2021According to local media Economic Times, the tax department detected that WazirX uses its in-house WRX tokens for commissions, which were distributed by Zanmai Labs. Further investigation revealed that the crypto exchange missed out on paying 18% tax on the total tokens issued based on its market price.The investigators revealed that WazirX paid GST on the 0.2% commission it charges users for making trades with local currency i.e. the rupee, clarifying:“But in cases where the trader opts for transaction in WRX coins, the commission charged is 0.1% of trading volume and they were not paying GST on this commission.”It is also important to note that WazirX and WRX tokens are owned by Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange in terms of the trading volume. According to a Zanmai Labs spokesperson, the non-payment of tax was related to the misinterpretation of GST rules:“We voluntarily paid additional GST in order to be cooperative and compliant. There was and is no intention to evade tax.”WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty previously told Cointelegraph about the importance of regulatory clarity for retail adoption. He also warned that an overnight regulation may harm the progress of the crypto ecosystem and leave open loopholes for bad actors:“There is a $2.5-trillion market out there, and it is not going to wait for any nation to come on board. I’ve been tweeting ‘#IndiaWantsCrypto’ for over 1,000 days with the sole objective of having crypto regulation in India.”Day 1000What a milestone for Indian Crypto!With #IndiaWantsCrypto my mission has been:- Bring positive crypto regulation in India- Spread right information about CryptoLakhs of people have joined this campaignLet’s continue our missionJai Hind #IndiaWantsCrypto— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) July 28, 2021

While the concept of GST is fairly new in the region, the government of India has previously agreed to show leniency to defaulters and fraudsters — typically settling such cases with a monetary penalty and a lower probability of jail time. WazirX has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.Related: Indian trade group recommends ‘special class security’ status for cryptoIn an attempt to help the Indian government decide crypto laws, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) proposed to treat cryptocurrencies as securities of a special class. A report released by the non-government trade association showed the CII proposes to formulate new regulations around the nascent crypto market instead of regulating them under existing securities law.As Cointelegraph reported, the CII recommended a special provision of income tax and GST laws, which will treat cryptocurrencies as an asset class for tax purposes unless specifically treated as “stock in trade“ by a participant.

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SEBI chief warns Indian mutual funds on investing in cryptocurrency offerings

The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Ajay Tyagi urged mutual funds to avoid investing in crypto-related assets as the government considers new cryptocurrency rules. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Tyagi advised firms to refrain from investing in funds linked to crypto assets until there is clarity on the policy and regulatory framework.“Those who have invested in mutual funds, – in companies related to crypto assets or foreign firms through fund-of-funds (FOF) – my thinking is that till we get clarity on its (crypto’s) policy, businesses should not make such investments,” said the SEBI chairman.While the regulatory environment for cryptocurrency in India is currently murky, the country has already witnessed an exponential rise in its popularity. It’s also unclear if crypto investments come with any tax obligations in the country.Tyagi’s remarks come following the recent event involving an asset management firm (AMC), Invesco Mutual Fund. Despite Sebi’s approval, it delayed its blockchain fund last month owing to legislative uncertainty.There have been talks about cryptocurrency being discussed in Parliament during the winter session recently. The talks gained further momentum following a parliamentary standing committee on finance’s meeting with cryptocurrency stakeholders to identify possible opportunities and challenges that may occur when it comes to crypto financing and investment.Related: Institutional managers hold a record $72.3B of crypto — CoinSharesThe Indian government had formally planned to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, for debate in the parliament during its current winter session. The bill, however, does not appear among the bills that India’s lower house will consider as it concludes the winter session.Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Modi has been increasingly vocal regarding cryptocurrencies in 2021. During the recent Sydney Dialogue, Modi urged democratic nations to collaborate in order to make the most of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He also warned against their malicious use.

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$2.5T crypto market will not wait for nations to onboard: WazirX CEO

Indian entrepreneur and the CEO of crypto exchange WazirX Nischal Shetty envisions a race between countries to launch their local versions of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in the coming year. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Shetty said that the year 2022 would be an extension of the ongoing discussions around crypto regulations, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the emergence of the metaverse:“We’re optimistic that we’ll get regulatory clarity, see institutional participation fuel retail adoption. We also expect to see more metaverse projects making an entrance.”Shetty pointed out that the crypto industry today — directly or indirectly — employs about 50,000 people in India, which according to NASSCOM research, is expected to grow 2X faster with the potential to create over 800,000 jobs by 2030. Acknowledging the delays in crypto regulations across the globe, Shetty told The Economic Times that an overnight regulation might harm the progress of the ecosystem and leave open loopholes for bad actors:“There is a $2.5 trillion market out there and it is not going to wait for any nation to come on board. I’ve been tweeting ‘#IndiaWantsCrypto’ for over 1,000 days with the sole objective of having crypto regulation in India.”Day 1000What a milestone for Indian Crypto!With #IndiaWantsCrypto my mission has been:- Bring positive crypto regulation in India- Spread right information about CryptoLakhs of people have joined this campaignLet’s continue our missionJai Hind #IndiaWantsCrypto— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) July 28, 2021Discussions around crypto were prevalent in India this year as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cited the need for crypto regulations. In addition, the winter season of the Indian Parliament introduced a crypto bill that sought a ban on ‘private’ cryptocurrencies. “The question for every nation is ‘do they want to participate and get a share of this pie?’,” asked Shetty. He also predicted that global participation in crypto would go from 150 million to 400 million people if the coming year follows a similar growth trajectory of 2021.Shetty highlighted that the nonfungible token (NFT) buying spree might slow down in 2022 as investors attempt reselling through secondary markets, adding: “Web3 will open the gates to innovation and more startups in India. Along with the rise in NFTs, it will play a huge role in promoting the creator economy of India.”Crypto exchange WazirX led numerous marketing efforts to educate Indian investors about cryptocurrencies and launch transparency reports and policies to add credibility to the ecosystem. Shetty believes that spreading the right information and busting misinformation will expedite crypto adoption in India, concluding:“Cointelegraph is doing a phenomenal job at spreading education and awareness around crypto among the masses. I wish all the readers a very happy, crypto-full new year ahead!”Related: India to regulate, not ban, crypto: Cabinet documentsLocal reports from early December suggested that the Indian government would regulate the crypto sector instead of imposing an outright ban. According to Indian news outlet NDTV, a cabinet note regarding the proposed crypto bill contained suggestions to regulate cryptocurrencies as crypto assets, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) overseeing the regulation of local crypto exchanges.However, NDTV reported Sunil Prabhu said that the government of India will not consider mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies as legal tender:“[Cryptocurrency] as a legal tender will not be accepted. That is a clear no. I think that that is what even the prime minister in his deliberations at that meeting made absolutely clear to ensure that does not take place.”

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Law Decoded: Three regulatory trends of 2021, Dec. 20–27

It is that time of the year: Singular events must be abandoned in favor of end-of-year, big-picture narratives and yearly lessons learned. As many governments across the globe finally had to face the rapidly mainstreaming realm of digital finance, the year is packed with developments in crypto policy and regulation that are impossible to fit into a neat little summary. However, it is possible to try and distill several major trends that have come to the fore during the past 12 months, and that will keep shaping the relationship among societies, state power and the crypto space as we roll into 2022.Below is the concise version of the latest “Law Decoded” newsletter. For the full breakdown of policy developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.U.S. Congress notices cryptoIn 2021, crypto regulation in the United States ceased to be mostly the domain of unelected officials sitting on various financial regulatory commissions and within the Treasury Department. Federal lawmakers called more high-profile Congressional hearings on digital assets than in any previous year. Their command of crypto-related issues has also improved visibly. The executive branch still attempted to steer important decisions — the approach most vividly illustrated by the last-minute inclusion of crypto broker reporting requirements into the infrastructure bill — yet the backers of such course were likely caught off-guard by a vocal, concerted pushback from the industry and its allies on the Capitol Hill. Granted, not everyone in Congress is a Bitcoin buff, but there are still quite a few, and some are making crypto salient on their legislative agendas.The emergence of crypto as a conspicuous matter of public policy in the age of partisan polarization has also raised a question of where each of the two major U.S. political parties stands on digital asset-related issues. The coming year will likely see further crystallization of partisan crypto stances.Authoritarians lean toward the hardlineAnother emerging rift can be observed in how various political systems have come to approach crypto depending on where they stand on the liberal-authoritarian continuum. Obviously, all agents of power strive to maximize the degree of control they exert over payment systems and the financial system more broadly, yet in 2021, those who make greater use of the free-market look more likely to co-opt rather than heavily restrict the digital asset space.The approach exemplified by China and its outlawing of crypto trading and mining mark the heavy-handed end of the policy palette. The alternative is opening up to financial innovation and reaping the benefits of such openness at the cost of limited control.The struggle between these two stances has been intensifying within several big economies that can be reasonably expected to opt for a more hardline scenario. While an imminent threat seems to have been averted in India, inconclusive signals emanating from Russia and Turkey suggest that forces championing the hawkish approach are extremely influential there.Unprecedented rates of legal exposureFrom El Salvador becoming the first crypto nation with a legal tender status for Bitcoin (BTC) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finally allowing a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund to the market, more people than ever now have a legal way to use cryptocurrency for payments and investment.Still, narrative shifts driven by these historic advancements resonate far beyond the crypto bubble, leading to new waves of mainstream interest. With both the awareness and exposure on the rise, it gets harder for policymakers to ignore the new economic and social reality where Bitcoin and its siblings are present in the lives of millions. At this point, there is no stopping the virtuous cycle of global crypto adoption, and in 2022, there will be even less room for the powers that be to remain oblivious to crypto-driven social transformation.

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Indian police commissioner issues a public warning against crypto frauds

Goel highlighted the various methods that are actively being used by fraudsters to dupe investors such as lucrative investment opportunities, illegitimate bank transfers and cryptocurrencies. Acknowledging the growth of Indian crypto users, Goel added:“They [fraudsters] ask you to share your cryptocurrency details. And once you put it in your wallet, then the money is taken away.”After simplifying the elaborate fraud in a sentence, Goel also highlighted that sixteen such cases have been registered involving cryptocurrencies.The Additional Commissioner of Police Shikha Goel warned Indian citizens about the rise in cybercrime in an event hosted by the city police of Hyderabad, India, suggesting not to transfer cryptocurrencies to unauthorized private wallets.Do not transfer your cryptocurrency to unauthorised private wallets Dont fall prey to fraudsters #BeCyberSmart pic.twitter.com/eJOwsnLSmX— Shikha Goel, IPS (@AddlCPCrimesHyd) December 26, 2021As a fair warning to the Indian crypto investors, the commissioner said:“If you are going to be using or investing in cryptocurrency, please go only to the reputed and long-established players in this field.”Speaking to local news The Hindu, Goel revealed that 14 out of the 16 crypto fraud cases were directly related to investment and trading. Typically, the fraudsters convince the victims to transfer their newly purchased cryptocurrencies for higher profits, which according to Goel:“People have been cheated of 3.45 crore rupees (roughly $458,000) in their greed for higher returns against investment in cryptocurrency.”DIAL 155260 to report financial cyber fraud like OTP , UPI or any other cyber crime where you have lost money And yes do not delay in informing If you inform us on time on this helpline chances of retrieving the amount are high #BeCyberSmart pic.twitter.com/HgXF34h2ko— Shikha Goel, IPS (@AddlCPCrimesHyd) December 26, 2021

“Once you get cheated, it is a dead-end. Virtual money can never be traced back and returned to the original owner,” she concluded.Related: Indian state government to accredit Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 blockchain startupsThe state government of Telangana also leads India’s blockchain efforts as it launches India Blockchain Accelerator program to foster early-stage Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 startups and blockchain developers. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Rama Devi Lanka, Telangana government’s director of emerging technology, shared her interest to use blockchain technology for solving real-world problems, adding:“The Telangana government will help provide the required regulatory framework to enable and promote blockchain growth.”

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Indian parliament's agenda for winter session no longer includes crypto bill

The Indian government may still be considering a bill that could ban certain cryptocurrencies in the country, but lawmakers are unlikely to vote on any legislation in the current parliamentary session.According to a Friday publication, India’s lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, will likely not be looking at a bill proposing the prohibition of “all private cryptocurrencies” before its winter session ends on Thursday. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill does not appear as one of the seven bills on the government body’s agenda over the last days of its 2021 session.A Nov. 23 bulletin for the Lok Sabha stated that Indian lawmakers could vote on legislation that creates “a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency” issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. In addition, the bill proposed banning certain cryptocurrencies. The same bill has previously appeared on the parliament’s agenda but has not led to a vote addressing the regulatory framework or legal status of digital assets. In March 2020, India’s supreme court overturned a blanket ban on crypto imposed by the Reserve Bank of India that had gone into effect two years prior. Since that time, reports from many local media outlets as well as statements from officials suggest that the government is considering different solutions to regulate or possibly ban digital assets.Related: Proposed crypto ban legislation reportedly under review by India’s governmentEven if India’s parliament fails to tackle the crypto legislation, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, may be able to issue an ordinance to fast-track the bill when the Lok Sabha is not in session, likely between December and January. Officials from India’s Finance Ministry are also reportedly considering a legal framework that could treat cryptocurrencies closer to commodities than currencies.With a population of roughly 1.4 billion, India choosing to establish a concrete legal framework for a central bank digital currency and ban many token projects would likely make significant ripples throughout the space. Following the bill’s introduction to the parliamentary agenda in November, crypto exchange WazirX saw mass selloffs resulting in significant price drops for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other tokens.

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