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Former Finance Secretary Doubts Indian Government Understands Crypto

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Former Finance Secretary Doubts Indian Government Understands Crypto

Former Finance Secretary Doubts Indian Government Understands Crypto

The Indian government has not introduced the cryptocurrency bill that was listed to be taken up in the winter session of parliament. Former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg says he has no confidence in the ability of the Indian government to figure out crypto. Garg headed the inter-ministerial committee that drafted the original crypto bill that proposes banning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

India Fails to Introduce Crypto Bill in Parliament Again

The Indian government has failed to introduce the cryptocurrency bill that was listed to be taken up in the winter session of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. The session ended Thursday.

Commenting on the government’s failure to introduce the crypto bill, former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told IANS publication Thursday that “he had no confidence in the ability of government to figure out the complexities of this new crypto phenomenon,” the news outlet conveyed. He was further quoted as saying:

I expressed serious doubts when the government had expressed its intent to present the bill about the introduction of the crypto-assets/currencies bill in the winter session of parliament. I am, therefore, not surprised to see the present situation where there is zero clarity over what is the bill.

The Indian government has not revealed what’s in the crypto bill. However, there are reports that the government has decided to regulate crypto assets but ban the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. The country’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, recently said that the bill needed to be reworked.

The original crypto bill was drafted by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) headed by Garg. The “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” proposed banning all cryptocurrencies and regulating digital currencies to be issued by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, Garg, who has resigned from his government job, now believes that crypto assets should be regulated as commodities.

This was the second time that the Indian government failed to introduce a crypto bill after listing it on parliamentary agendas. The first time was in the budget session in February.

According to Garg, the Indian government is caught between two opposing sides: the RBI and the crypto industry. Noting that the government seems unable to make a decision, he described:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), believing that crypto-technology and businesses are only in the currency business, has been constantly hammering the government to ban the cryptocurrencies and statutorily empower RBI to issue digital bank notes.

The RBI said at its recent meeting of the central board of directors that cryptocurrencies must be fully banned, emphasizing that a partial ban will not work. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has reiterated several times that the central bank has serious and major concerns regarding cryptocurrencies.

Garg added: “The cryptocurrency exchanges, applying the force from the other side, want the government to treat cryptocurrencies as assets and statutorily create a regulatory mechanism for the same.”

He explained that the government also faces other critical issues, including crypto being potentially misused for hawala and money laundering, investments worth billions of dollars escaping overseas, and crypto investors not paying capital gains tax.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that cryptocurrency should be used to empower democracy and not undermine it. He urged Democratic countries to work together to ensure that cryptocurrencies do not fall into the wrong hands. Last week, his Twitter account was hacked and a tweet was posted stating that India has adopted bitcoin as legal tender and the government has purchased BTC to distribute to residents.

What do you think about India failing to introduce a crypto bill in parliament again? And, what do you think of Garg’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

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GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

Streaming, NFT, and metaverse project GamingShiba (GAMINGSHIBA) overtook bitcoin on Wednesday to secure CoinMarketCap’s most trending token. 

The meme coin’s top trending status comes in the same week that Shiba Inu (SHIB) announced its own metaverse project, creating a potential point of confusion for investors seeking to FOMO in. Despite strong similarities in appearance and name, GamingShiba has no relation to Shiba Inu.

GamingShiba is a microcap meme coin, which according to their website holds aspirations to create, ‘a binding bridge between Gamers, Streaming platforms, NFTs and Metaverse’. In a request for further information, GamingShiba says they will “only reveal how they will create this bridge once the project has reached 100,000 holders.”

A tweet on Wednesday declared that the project currently has over 45,000+ unique addresses so investors may have a little time to wait for further information. 

GamingShiba topped the CoinMarketCap trending charts on Wednesday (Source)

The streaming/gaming/NFT/Metaverse project also describes itself as ‘your virtual dog’ and offers the following food for thought on its homepage:

“The modern technology and contemporary ambient that the internet created can not be imagined to function as a whole without cryptocurrency. The impact that the cryptocurrency has on a global scale is astronomical in the sense of being the generator of almost every development and especially the latest one.”

Comparing Shiba Inu and GamingShiba


This seems very familiar

Besides strong similarities in both appearance and name, the development of Shiba Inu’s own metaverse has created fresh point of overlap between the two Shiba-themed projects.

On Monday Shiba Inu teased the launch of the Shiberse in 2022, which the company hails as ‘An immersive experience for our ecosystem’. The Shiba Inu team promises further details at a later date.

In December of 2021 it was revealed that Shiba Inu has a multiplayer collectible card game in the works with development outsourced to the Australian gaming company PlaySide Studios. The final game is expected to be delivered in Q1 2023. 

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Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

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Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

This week’s overview of price movements for Bitcoin (BTC), gold, and our stock pick Google-parent Alphabet Inc.

BTC

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) in January has gone from bad to worse. Already having dropped coming into the new year, BTC was trading around $44,000 on January 13.

Over the next few days it traded down to $43,000 before reaching $42,000 by January 20. However, after a brief spike, BTC proceeded to plummet into the following days, hitting as low as $34,000 on January 22, and $33,000 on January 24. Buying pressure then returned pushing it back up to $37,000, and as high as $38,000 by January 26.

It is currently trading below $37,000.

According to Caxton market intelligence head Michael Brown, Bitcoin’s recent decline reflects the “institutionalization” of crypto assets, in the sense that they are increasingly traded like other risky assets.

“Unsurprisingly, given that the ‘easy money’ party is now coming to an end, it is the most risky assets — crypto – that are bearing the brunt of the market’s ire,” he said. “With the Fed likely to ramp up the hawkish commentary in upcoming remarks, further downside looks likely.”

GOLD

While gold had a good past week, it has since dropped below last week’s lows. On January 13, the price of gold was roughly $1,824. Over the next few days it traded down to $1,812 by January 19, when it suddenly spiked up to $1,840. Hitting $1,848 on January 20, gold traded down a bit before pushing back up to $1,852 by January 25.

However, by the next day, the price of gold plummeted and is now trading around $1,796.

Gold prices extended losses to a more than one-week low, while the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields rallied, following U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaling an interest rate hike in March. That sent U.S. Benchmark 10-year yields close to one-week highs while the dollar rose to its strongest in over a month.

“The reaction was normal in the sense that Chairman Powell stressed the strength of the economy and the determination to fight inflation,” said Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

GOOG

Alphabet has had a pretty dismal start to the new year. Starting out 2022 at around $2,900, Alphabet started falling by January 5 and reached roughly $2,740 by January 7. After gapping down the next trading day GOOG proceeded to push up the next two days, eventually gapping up to $2,850 by January 12. That momentum had reversed the next day, with GOOG gapping down to $2,740 by January 18, then continuing falling, gapping down again to $2,550 by January 24.

Since then however, GOOG has recovered a bit, and is currently trading around $2,640.

Earlier this week, YouTube announced it was considering adding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its features for creators this year, according to a letter from the CEO. The letter marks the first time ​​YouTube’s owner, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, has announced integration with the cryptocurrency collectibles.

“We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube,” Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote in her annual letter to creators.

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

“We must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Janet Yellen.

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

A bipartisan group of members from the U.S. House of Representatives called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to clarify the language in the infrastructure bill signed into law in November around the definition of “broker.”

In a Wednesday letter, House Financial Services Committee ranking member Patrick McHenry and ten other representatives urged Yellen to reference the Keep Innovation in America Act to “ensure that any future guidance” in the November infrastructure bill would provide “the necessary clarity to the digital asset ecosystem.” In addition to the reporting requirements, the lawmakers said that the Treasury Department should narrow the scope of the information a broker can capture, as it would risk “the creation of an unlevel playing field for transactions in digital assets and those required to provide them.”

— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) January 27, 2022

According to the House members, the current wording of the law would potentially allow the Treasury to interpret which companies and individuals in the crypto space qualify as a “broker,” creating a burden of reporting information to the government they may not necessarily have. This would seemingly require miners, software developers, transaction validators and node operators to report most digital asset transactions worth more than $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

“As nascent financial technologies develop, we must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Yellen. “We believe consistent information reporting on digital asset transactions is necessary. However, it should not prevent these technologies and the ecosystem from continuing to flourish due to unclear regulations that only create uncertainty.”

Related: US Congressman calls for ‘broad, bipartisan consensus’ on important issues of digital asset policy

The appeal to the U.S. Treasury Secretary mirrors that of an December letter from six senators claiming the infrastructure law contains an “overly-broad interpretation” of what a broker is and requesting Yellen provide guidance to correct the perceived error. Senators Rob Portman, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, Mark Warner and Kyrsten Sinema urged Yellen to provide a set of rules clarifying the wording “in an expeditious manner.” Lummis and Senator Ron Wyden also attempted to pass legislation that would have changed the tax reporting requirements to “not apply to individuals developing blockchain technology and wallets” on Nov. 15 when the bill was signed into law by President Biden.

To date, none of the proposed measures clarifying the wording in the law have gotten enough support to enact change. Many lawmakers and crypto advocacy groups have expressed concerns that if the law is implemented as is, it could threaten the United States’ position as a nation encouraging the development of innovative technology.

“Our innovators and entrepreneurs can’t wait,” said McHenry. “Secretary Yellen must provide much-needed clarity so this nascent industry can flourish here in the U.S.”

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