Arun Jaitley did not make any pointed remark on a ban of cryptocurrencies, nor signal a clampdown on cryptocurrency exchanges. A side note – India’s tax authorities are, in fact, using the help of cryptocurrency exchanges to chase tax evaders.
However, the immediate aftermath of Jaitley’s remark sparked a torrent of erroneous reporting from India’s national press and mainstream media outlets about the Indian government outlawing and banning cryptocurrencies.
“Arun Jaitley has just killed India’s cryptocurrency party,” screamed a headline from Quartz India, one of the earliest mainstream publications to report on the finance minister’s statement. ‘It appears to be the end of the road for cryptocurrencies in India’, read the introduction to the article with the rest following in a similar tone.
Despite his bullish call on bitcoin, Neu-Ner’s money is on Ethereum, which he says is run by “the smartest people in the world,” in reference to the developers who he recently got to know at a conference held in Cancun.
He touts Ethereum for its multiple use cases, ranging from hedging to betting, to voting, for instance, all on the Ethereum network. Meanwhile, bitcoin’s use cases are twofold — as a currency or a store of value, the latter of which is how Neu-Ner views the cryptocurrency, referencing it as “digital gold.”
Meanwhile, he points out it’s only been about a year that cryptocurrencies have become accessible to the retail investor, and they’ve not even attained wide-scale adoption yet. “2018 is the year where the mechanisms to allow retail consumers to get into cryptocurrencies start to open themselves up,” he said, adding that it will stabilize the price.
Cryptocurrency philanthropy is spreading. The Pineapple Fund, whose founders remain anonymous, has given $5 million worth of bitcoin to the Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) over two separate donations. The funds, which were deposited into the nonprofit’s BitPay account and which are reportedly being converted to US dollars, are being directed toward “accelerating much-needed research for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and related chronic complex diseases.”
Someone named Pine, from the Pineapple Fund, directed the first $1 million in bitcoin to OMF on Jan. 14. That gift was followed up by a separate $4 million bitcoin donation on Feb. 2. The gift will no doubt go a long way, just as the grateful response from the cryptocurrency community to the original bitcoin gift did.
Another shipping company has now joined the global blockchain revolution, this time it’s UPS. According to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the global shipping giant is considering setting up a system of locker banks so that it could take in Bitcoin as payment.
Here’s how it works: As outlined in the USPTO filing document, a seller can leave an item inside a locker (which can be rented) for the buyer to pick up later-on by entering the designated payment, thus completing the transaction.
Earlier this week, Mnuchin spoke at the Senate Banking Committee. It was during this presentation that Mnuchin reportedly stated that even though he doesn’t believe cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the stability of the market, he is very wary about criminals using virtual currencies for criminal activity such as money laundering. For these reasons, Mnuchin plans to start a discussion regarding cryptocurrency regulation at the next G20 summit. The G20 summit allows for the globe’s 20 leading industrialized economies to come together, and the next one will be held in Argentina next month.
Interestingly, if Mnuchin ends up discussing cryptocurrency regulation next month at the summit, this actually won’t be the first time this topic has been discussed at one of the meetings. In 2015, the matter was discussed during a meeting with the G7 nations. For those who don’t know, the G7 includes the following countries: France, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Japan.