oppn parties Cryptocurrencies: Making A Comeback

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
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Cryptocurrencies: Making A Comeback

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

This June, cryptocurrency Bitcoin once again breached the $10000 barrier. It was after one year that Bitcoin reached this level and it was triple of what it was fetching in 2018. So why are investors once again flocking to buy the digital 'coin'? Why is there a renewed interest in something that is neither widely accepted nor legal in most parts of the world? Ever since Bitcoin touched dizzying heights (it touched $19783 in December 2017), financial regulators the world over, especially in emerging economies, have advised governments to ban it.

In fact, in India, a committee headed by ex-finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has recently put its report in the public domain. The report recommends that India should ban mining, holding, investing in or even providing services to facilitate any or all of these. In the same breath, the report also recommends that the government can think of floating its own digital currency if it so wishes. Hence, the committee is neither against the technology nor its viability. It is essentially against the private ownership of companies that facilitate these cryptocurrencies.

So is the cryptocurrency market maturing and more informed investors coming in after the initial hype that brought in the uninformed and the me-too walas, who more often than not burned their fingers and pockets? The present upswing, sans the hype, indicates as much. As Bitcoin outperforms other asset classes, even conservative fund managers and skeptics will not like to miss out. Further, cryptocurrency is being made mainstream with offerings from Facebook and JP Morgan.

Facebook has unveiled that it is going to launch its cryptocurrency Libra anytime soon. JP Morgan is also coming out with JPCoin. It needs reminding that James Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase had initially said that cryptocurrencies were a fraud but he later regretted making that statement. Other mainstream firms in the financial world are offering custodian services or online trading platforms, changing the nature of investment in crypto currencies.

Although trading volumes are nowhere near the high of 2017, the market structure has changed completely (there are less of speculators now and more of investors) and this bodes well for the stability of the asset. Benefits of the blockchain technology that drives the cryptocurrencies are being widely and increasingly recognized all over the world. If a worldwide standard is developed and financial regulators shed their opposition, the asset class may still emerge as the currency of the future.