Category Archives: india

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Indian Exchanges Continue to Flout Crypto Banking Ban

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banking ban on cryptocurrencies in India is having less impact than the government anticipated as more exchanges go back to work.

Three exchanges have announced the return of Indian rupee (INR) deposits, contrary to the government ruling in July, which effectively removed INR deposits and made withdrawals illegal. Petitions against the current ruling are up for Supreme Court scrutiny later next week. On 12 September, Koinex announced rupee deposits and withdrawals were now back in operation at their exchange, referring, rather romantically, to the “old times”:

“We are happy to announce the revival of INR in the crypto universe through a new peer-to-peer deposit and withdrawal mechanism for INR transactions… Just like the old times, users will be able to deposit and withdraw funds directly from their INR wallets.”

Another exchange, Coindelta, is back to business as usual too with an equally folksy announcement on their website:

“We have resumed back the INR deposits and withdrawals on Coindelta. Not only this, your old favorite INR markets are back where you can trade with your INR.”

Two other platforms, Koindesk and Giottus, are back too, the latter with a peer-to-peer (P2P) system, allowing its users to withdraw rupees. P2P has become a way that many exchanges have developed for their own homemade way of operating. Exchanges now using a P2P system for accessing and spending their rupees include WazirX, Intashift, and Coind.

WazirX head Nischal Shetty suggested that the exchange was seeing more that one match per minute through its P2P facility, with trading increasing daily, proving that crypto is very much alive and well on the subcontinent.

Rahul Chitale of Instashift said: “Since the last set of RBI-related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation.”

In the meantime, Dabba growths in strength, profiting from the RBI ban. Working via the messaging app Telegram, with money as cash routed through the various channels in the hawala system. The money then passes either officially or unofficially to the foreign account where Bitcoins are transacted. Payment is then made in cash or check and the deal is done: no exchange, no Indian bank.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Indian Exchanges Continue to Flout Crypto Banking Ban appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Farmers Worldwide Are Now Seeing Blockchain’s Real Advantages

Farmers are beginning to see the potential of new technology, including blockchain, as a solution to supply chain problems in the industry.

Although farmers are sometimes skeptical towards tech solutions coming from an industry steeped in traditional methods, more of them are taking the plunge given the obvious advantages of blockchain’s supply chain clarity and accountability.

Around the world, growers are finding success in change. From Queensland cane growers tracking the movement of sugar around Australia, to growing and tracking organic rice in Cambodia, and cocoa in Ghana, blockchain is providing farmers with a way of tracking their products from field/farm to table.

Organizations such as Olam Farming Information System offers transparency for small farmers in 21 countries around the world. With 100,000 small hold farmers now registered with OFIS across Asia, Africa, and South America, the organization has developed a system which allows easy access and information sorting for the user to get to know more about the farming communities who supply their ingredients.

In mid-2017 Af Funder calculated a potential $213 million was there to be accrued by farm management software and IoT start-ups due to rising interest within the industry. Most development in the industry has been in traceability solutions which many smaller producers have already adopted.

However, there is the potential for blockchain to operate in the farming industry on a much larger scale, such as the French supermarket giant Carrefour’s blockchain project which began tracking its chicken supply earlier this year. This provided customers with an egg to table history by using a smartphone to scan a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed.

The potential to cut down on an illegal harvesting and shipping fraud are other advantages. A new project in Kerala in India’s deep south will now be ensuring that goods now include RFID tags and the use of IoT devices to monitor transportation and delivery, primarily of milk, vegetables, and fish. All components of the milk supply chain will be strictly monitored and recorded on the blockchain.

Projects like this are making illegal trading far more difficult; the cost of food fraud has now reached an estimated $40 billion a year according to the UN.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Farmers Worldwide Are Now Seeing Blockchain’s Real Advantages appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Reserve Bank of India Says Bitcoin Is Not A Currency, Couldn’t Be More Wrong

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has declared that Bitcoin is not a currency in an affidavit to the Indian Supreme Court, during an ongoing legal battle regarding the ban on banks from facilitating any crypto-related activity in India. The Reserve Bank of India is completely wrong.

Specifically, the affidavit says “It is submitted that crypto-currencies fall short of being true currencies. It is further submitted that RBI does not consider virtual currencies such as Bitcoins as ‘currency’ under the extant laws. There are no enabling provisions under the extant law to treat Bitcoin as currency”. The RBI further argues that Bitcoin can’t be a currency because it has no physical form, and aren’t issued by the RBI.

The RBI could not be more wrong. Bitcoin has an excellent track record as a currency, it can be used to buy or sell anything in the world, and transactions sent with Bitcoin are instant and cryptographically secure. Combined with very low fees to send Bitcoin transactions, Bitcoin is actually better than fiat for international finance due to its speed and security. Bitcoin has 99.9% uptime and success when sending transactions, and is very reliable when used as a currency.

The RBI has led a month-long battle to stomp out Bitcoin and crypto in India, and they have succeeded at getting banks to stop offering accounts to crypto exchanges and traders. However, since Bitcoin itself is still legal in India, peer to peer Bitcoin dealing has proliferated across the country. It would probably be best for India to classify and regulate Bitcoin, like most other countries, instead of driving it underground where they have no control over it at all.

In reality, the RBI likely feels threatened by Bitcoin, since it is the first decentralized currency to spread across India, and is rapidly gaining value and use. This is unlike the Indian Rupee (INR), which has been experiencing massive inflation rates. The exchange rate has gone from INR 63 per USD to INR 72 per USD so far during 2018, yielding an annual inflation rate of 19% per year.

This inflation rate is approaching the hyper-inflation threshold, and as seen in other nations like Venezuela and Zimbabwe, once inflation begins increasing to double digits it usually continues to accelerate until ultimately a currency collapse occurs. Right now, the RBI’s biggest problem is the threat of a currency collapse, and they likely think capital outflows into the Bitcoin market will worsen the situation, which is why they are trying to make it illegal.

The collapse of fiat currencies like the INR may be inevitable, and it would be much better for India if Bitcoin stays legal so the country can adopt it over time, so the Indian financial system will still be functional in the event of a fiat collapse.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Reserve Bank of India Says Bitcoin Is Not A Currency, Couldn’t Be More Wrong appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

India Considers Rupee-Backed Digital Currency to Combat Rising Fiat Cost

The Reserve Bank of India’s study to look at the feasibility of introducing a rupee-backed central bank digital currency was driven by the burden of current rising costs in printing paper fiat money.

The RBI suggests that there may be pressure put on other banks globally, particularly with the rise in interest in digital currencies for banking purposes. However, electronic fraud remains a concern, according to Financial Services company EY India. Company representative Manesh Makhia suggested, “The idea of a central bank-issued digital currency is very promising though issues around digital counterfeiting will need to be addressed.”

The Reserve Bank of India’s inter-departmental group, the first of its kind to look at digital currency in terms of banking, is all the more relevant given the recent RBI annual report findings released this week. It showed that 99.3% of the total demonetized money had been returned to the bank, leaving just over INR 100 billion (USD 141 million) in the market. The report noted:

“(Globally) the rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money, have led central banks around the world to explore the option of introducing fiat digital currencies.”

There are speculations that RBI may be considering a rupee-backed currency to overcome the exorbitant costs of printing paper money, although the bank’s interdepartmental group will also be looking at both blockchain and artificial intelligence and how these can be integrated into the banking system. A source suggested:

“As a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.”

It hasn’t been a happy few months in India for crypto traders though, who have been hit hard by RBI’s instructions earlier this year prohibiting financial institutions in India from providing cryptocurrency services, a ban which is currently being challenged in the country’s highest court.

Late last year, RBI announced it was looking into the possibility of a fiat cryptocurrency; the “Lakshmi coin”, named after the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post India Considers Rupee-Backed Digital Currency to Combat Rising Fiat Cost appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

P2P Becoming the Indian Way to Trade Crypto Following the Banking Ban

Peer to Peer (P2P) trading is on the march in India due to the country’s banks shutting down crypto services this year.

Since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decision earlier this year, Indian traders are adapting as only Indians can do, and are doing it with great success too, with homemade P2P platforms and exchange adaptations using P2P trading.

Peer-to-Peer trading cuts out the banks completely. Out of this move, a new service KoinLoop has launched such a service, born out of two collaborating exchanges; KoinEX and WazirX. The latter’s CEO argues that his company also has the cheapest BTC price in India, adding:

“If banking is something the exchanges are not allowed to do, then the solution is something that direct banking doesn’t come in.”

As Bitcoin News reported recently Dabba is also taking off as a way of avoiding the RBI ban. Best described as a way of trading through something called a “hawala” network rather any system connected with an exchange, Dabba is becoming increasingly popular. The trading only takes place through an overseas bank account mainly based in the UK, with Dubai another favorite.

Mainly using the messaging app Telegram its use best explained simply thus:

“The broker accepts money in cash, buys Bitcoins using an overseas trading account and sells them when the bet placed in India is settled. The difference is paid in cash to the customer.”

The KoinEX system offers a P2P trading solution called Loop which offers clients access to the trading of BTC, ETH, and XRP. CEO Rahul Raj explains:

“…buyers and sellers on Loop can create their own listings (like a marketplace) or explore existing listings to choose their best trades,” adding, “…while it’s still early days, Loop has been very well received by the Indian trading community and we are seeing increasing traction every day.”

LocalBitcoins have also seen a local boost to trading since the ban with the Indian rupee (INR) volume increasing 25% from around 68 million rupees to 85 million rupees to August. BTC saw a similar hike in trading volumes with a hike of 23% over the same period.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post P2P Becoming the Indian Way to Trade Crypto Following the Banking Ban appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

India Investigates Replacing Smart Travel Cards with Crypto Tokens

The Indian government is currently in the midst of reviewing the viability of substituting smart travel cards for its own central-bank issued crypto tokens.

A senior official from the country’s finance ministry and a member of the committee undertaking applicability research for the crypto token said that the committee is currently researching the use of a custom blockchain-backed crypto token to replace smart cards in the public sector, such as the metro card.

Also in the private sector, they are looking to include the tokens in such areas as air mile loyalty programs where they cannot be converted back into fiat money, he said.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was first established early last year by the Ministry of Finance and constitutes members from India’s taxation authority and India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DoEA), as well as representatives from India’s central bank, the State Bank of India, and several other government departments.

The IMC has also been charged with producing a regulatory road map for the cryptocurrency space and is responsible for determining the usability of crypto tokens in the public sector, partly by studying international and governmental policies and legal framework regarding cryptocurrency.

The committee has been requested to find specific measures used by governments to curb money laundering activities via crypto.

India’s own crypto token

As reported by Bitcoin News on Monday, the Indian government is in the midst of implementing a crypto token specifically for financial transactions, stressing this as different to cryptocurrencies which are currently all banned in the country.

The tokens would differ specifically from cryptocurrencies as they would be a means of executing financial transactions exclusively in India.

The president of the Digital Lenders Association of India detailed that people would have to pay for these tokens with physical money should they be instituted, removing any impact on the country’s monetary policy.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post India Investigates Replacing Smart Travel Cards with Crypto Tokens appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

India may Implement Crypto Token Specifically for Financial Transactions

The finance ministry of India is taking an interesting approach to digital tokens despite having a ban on cryptocurrencies; a new committee is examining the possibility of setting up a legitimized crypto token payment system.

A crypto token, not a cryptocurrency

Local news outlet DNA India reported that the new committee was also established under the chairmanship of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. He said, “The committee is studying the possibility of using cryptocurrencies or the crypto technology (distributed ledger technology) for financial transactions and also what kind of regulations are needed for that.”

The crypto tokens in question are a representation of money, which differs to the standard cryptocurrencies as they are treated as money equivalents; instead, these tokens will be utilized exclusively as a means for financial transactions in India.

President of the Digital Lenders Association of India (DLAI) said that in order to obtain these crypto tokens, people will have to pay physical money for them which removes any impacts on the country’s monetary policy.

Once purchased, tokens could be stored on mobile phone devices and potentially used as remittances. According to DNA India, a senior official at the ministry also said that the crypto token could “replace smart cards such as metro cards in the public sector to start with. Similarly, in the private sector, it can be used in loyalty programmes such as air miles where its use is limited to buying the next ticket and can’t be converted into money”.

This approach is rather specific in its application, though it does offer a view for crypto-positive future in India; however, according to DNA India sources, the official cryptocurrency ban is “likely to continue”.

Clarity needed

On 5 July 2018, India officially enacted a banking ban on cryptocurrency; it’s not an outright blanket ban like China’s but instead prevents practically all fiat to crypto trading, a move that for the most part affected exchanges.

Exchanges are allowed to continue operations as long as they remove all fiat trading pairs, limiting their platforms options to crypto-to-crypto trades, much like the exchanges in China were forced to do.

Interestingly, later that month, the law reform committee of India made recommendations for cryptocurrencies to be accepted as payment for online gambling and sports betting.

The legality of cryptocurrencies in India is a hotly discussed topic; blockchain related technologies in the country are receiving public and institutional support especially with regards to the workforce, with whom there is a growing sense of urgency for regulatory clarification.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post India may Implement Crypto Token Specifically for Financial Transactions appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

African Crypto Movement Learns from Past to Push Forward

An examination of Google Trends this year illustrates how the African continent is waking up to cryptocurrency-related products and exploring the sector for innovative opportunities.

The popularity of Bitcoin in Africa continues to grow, enabled by the presence of a greater number of cryptocurrency exchange platforms. There are benefits to cryptocurrency ownership unique to the continent of Africa, many devolving from the widespread unstable economic conditions.

Google searches reveal that Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa are frantically searching online when it comes down to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin.

The M-pesa mobile money platform that started over 10 years ago as a Vodaphone pilot scheme for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania, is now an African giant. It is convenience that has made a massive impact in these countries, allowing users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services from their mobile phone.

So big has the company become it has now reached South Africa and further afield in Afghanistan, India, Romania and Albania.

The mobile phone has become Africa’s most significant innovation, connecting people across the continent in remote regions, also providing a host of innovative apps, thereby making more conventional and expensive forms of communication obsolete. Africa’s early steps in the cryptocurrency space, with crypto users doing their business through P2P networks, avoiding the limitations of banks and exchanges, neither of which many people have access to, show that the mobile phone is key.

Michael Kimani, the chairperson of the Blockchain Association of Kenya, draws a comparison to the early days of M-pesa to the current movement towards crypto and P2P solutions as users innovate to circumnavigate the drawbacks of trading. In the pre-M-Pesa period, people would trade airtime between themselves to escape inflated telecoms charges. He feels similar is happening now with crypto trading. He argues:

“These informal networks, resemble the airtime currency informal networks of pre-2006 that powered remittance payment networks before M-Pesa became a thing.”

A further accelerant could be just around the corner with last month’s launch of an African-focused cryptocurrency exchange called Coindirect. Co-founder Stephen Young says that Africa has unique problems and these must be considered in any startup plan for cryptocurrency adoption on the continent. He feels that current exchanges don’t take these into consideration.

In terms of African fiat currencies, Young identifies their systemic volatility, insecurity and lack of governance as factors that the crypto space need to take on board: He argues:

“If Africans are to benefit from the cryptocurrency revolution we need make it easier to buy, store and trade cryptocurrencies. As Africans, it is our responsibility to help build the infrastructure and we need to be a part of the revolution.”

The South African exchange allows users to buy, convert, store, send or sell more than 40 cryptocurrencies, combining a peer-to-peer marketplace, wallets and an exchange to allow customers to access cryptocurrencies from their local currency.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post African Crypto Movement Learns from Past to Push Forward appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Indian Government Plans Blockchain District in Hyderabad

The local government in the Indian state of Hyderabad has partnered with multinational IT services provider Tech Mahindra to create a blockchain district to aid startups.

The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to bring the district to the Telangana state’s capital city, Hyderabad, pushing India’s agenda of advancing technological innovation in the country.

On the early agenda for the project is the construction of buildings for startups and blockchain incubators, with the local government primarily responsible for overseeing the necessary infrastructure. Policies and regulations for the new district will also be delegated to the state’s authorities.

The Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao expressed positive sentiments about the venture, saying, “We envision to set a benchmark in providing blockchain technology solutions and platforms across industries.”

The blockchain district was described as a ”global talent hub” that hopes to democratize data and solve large-scale problems through blockchain innovations. It is an effort to practically reskill the workforce for the future while pushing for India to become the international blockchain capital.

India-headquartered IT giant Tech Mahindra will be charged with providing technical assistance while helping expand the blockchain ecosystem. In a press release on Friday, Mahindra detailed a project dubbed the Eleven01 protocol, a blockchain platform targetting the individual development of startups which may be utilized by several million individuals.

The protocol aims to eliminate the need for Indian blockchain developers to require foreign technologies while creating the most efficient decentralized applications, creating a localized ecosystem for the industry. The press release cited the blockchain market as being capped at a trillion dollars in the coming years.

Telangana has meanwhile already begun exploring blockchain solutions to digitally rework their land registries in an effort to boost transparency and reduce the number of document forgeries.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Indian Government Plans Blockchain District in Hyderabad appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

“Dabba” Trading yet Another Way of Getting Around India’s Crypto Ban

Further maneuvers are afoot since the last Bitcoin News update about Indian traders circumventing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on cryptocurrency, and this one is very much a “Dabba Dabba Doo” moment.

One strategy that some exchanges are taking to sidestep the RBI is encouraging peer-to-peer trading, thereby cutting out the banks completely. Out of this move, a new service KoinLoop has launched such a service, born out of two collaborating exchanges: KoinEX and WazirX.

WazirX CEO commented, “If banking is something the exchanges are not allowed to do, then the solution is something that direct banking doesn’t come in.”

Now, they’ve come up with another way of trading in Bitcoin called “dabba” which has now taken off. Dabba can be best described as a way of trading through something called a “hawala” network rather any system connected with an exchange. The trading only takes place through an overseas bank account mainly based in the UK with Dubai another favorite.

Reports suggest that most of the hawala network traders are operating out of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Kolkata and Mumbai working as a bridge between the customer and one of the trading companies overseas. Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Kolkata and Mumbai best described as thus:

“The broker accepts money in cash, buys Bitcoins using an overseas trading account and sells them when the bet placed in India is settled. The difference is paid in cash to the customer.”

It has been reported that most Dabba happens via the messaging app Telegram, with money as cash routed through the various channels in the hawala system. The money then passes either officially or unofficially to the foreign account where Bitcoins are transacted. Payment is then made in cash or check and the deal is done: no exchange, no Indian bank.

As mentioned in another Bitcoin News post, peer-to-peer (P2P) trading has also become a popular method given the current status quo, which may or may not change soon depending on which sources the information comes through. A few exchanges launching P2P trading services include KoinEX, WazirX, and Coindelta. A few others such as Giottus, Instashift, and Zecoex also offer some forms of P2P systems.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post “Dabba” Trading yet Another Way of Getting Around India’s Crypto Ban appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.