Category Archives: Ajay Banga

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New Google Ad Takes Dig at Power-Hungry Crypto

Google hardly improved its relationship with the crypto community after its earlier ban on advertising this year, despite a recent partial climbdown but now, the media giant seems to have shown its true colors in advertising of its own.

The initial June ban was introduced according to Google to “protect” customers, including advertising for ICO, crypto wallets, exchanges, and cryptocurrency trading advice. At the time of the ban, a Google spokesman commented that:

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

Google has clearly got a problem with crypto, as its latest piece of advertising clearly telegraphs. An ad for its new Call Screen phone service, designed to allow people to interact with callers before picking up, has one character asking another if he’s “going to live that (crypto) lie?”.

The ad refers to one character’s overblown electricity bill with the provider suggesting “cryptocurrency mining [takes] a lot of energy,” a clear reference to an ongoing argument that claims that the crypto industry is draining energy due to its high power requirement; an argument which is equally disputed by some experts.

This week Google also put another spanner in the works with Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett, JP Morgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon and Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga all being listed on the site as “CEOs of bitcoin”. It’s a well-known fact in the crypto community, that far from being connected with crypto, the three have all spoken out against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past and rarely express positive views about the industry as a whole. Google’s response to the error came quickly:

“Entities in the Knowledge Graph and associations between them are automatically generated based on available information on the web… It’s not always perfect, and when we’re made aware of incorrect associations, we work to fix the error.”

 

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Mastercard CEO Calls Cryptocurrencies “Junk” on US Visit

The war of words between the major credit card companies and cryptocurrency users seems to have stepped up another gear over the weekend with the latest slant by a top Mastercard CEO.

During the “New India Lecture” at the Indian Consulate in the US this week, Mastercard’s CEO, Ajay Banga, went on full attack against cryptocurrency calling it “junk”. During his time on stage where he was taking questions from the audience on crypto trade, he went on to say that such an “anonymized” form of currency with such wild fluctuations in the market couldn’t be regarded as a medium of exchange.

The lecture was organized as part of a series hosted by the Consulate in tandem with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)

Banga wasted little time explaining that cryptocurrencies were responsible for more than 95 percent of illegal online transactions on the dark web.

Bitcoin has been the target of constant attacks, increasing in prominence in the media and popular press, particularly in 2017 when the value of the flagship cryptocurrency soared to USD 20,000 at end of the year. Voices in the financial sector have been more than ready to denounce Bitcoin and proclaim its demise.

In January of this year, a prominent study revealed that less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions was used for illicit activities, disproving one of the many myths surrounding Bitcoin’s prominence in illegal use. Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), conducted the study which was called ‘Bitcoin Laundering: An Analysis of Illicit Flows into Digital Currency Services‘.

The condemnation was flying in the other direction last week when Mastercard services completely crashed out for the day, giving cryptocurrency users plenty of opportunities to remind the credit card giant why so many people started using Bitcoin in the first place. One suggestion reminded  Mastercard that a blockchain based system would solve such issues.

It appears that Mastercard is slowly taking that route as evidenced by the array of blockchain-related patents that they have acquired in an effort show more innovation regarding payments. Also, back in 2016, Mastercard released some preliminary APIs, Blockchain Core API, Smart Contracts API and a Fast Pay Network API.

Their latest patent filed recently would digitize credit cards and store them on a blockchain. The patent application is titled ‘Method And System For Payment Card Verification Via Blockchain’.

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