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May 2013

Cryptocurrency Not Banned in India, According to RBI



Over the course of the past half-decade or so, the cryptocurrency space has grown at a breakneck pace, and it is believed that it is going to keep expanding in the years to come. However, in this regard, it is also important to note that it has thrived because many nations have not outlawed crypto tokens.

In this regard, India, one of the world’s biggest economies, cleared the air about its stance on cryptocurrencies. The central bank of the country, the Reserve Bank of India, stated that despite reports to the contrary, cryptocurrencies are not banned in the country.

Key Details

The RBI stated that it has not technically banned cryptocurrencies but instead created ring-fence regulations by way of which the country’s banks and other financial entities are protected from risks related to these assets. The Indian central bank has also asked the banks in the country not to deal with cryptocurrencies. On top of that, cryptocurrency exchanges in India have also been starved of regular banking support, and that has seen the closure of some exchanges in recent times.

The latest announcement from the RBI will, however, come as a boost for the sector. After all, the central bank has clearly stated that cryptocurrencies are not banned in India.

In a statement, the RBI said, “The RBI has been able to ring-fence the entities regulated by it from being involved in activities that pose reputational and financial risks along with other legal and operational risks.” The development, however, is also an indication that the situation is probably going to continue to be tough for cryptocurrency exchanges that are looking for access to banks.

>> Libra Still Faces Uphill Battle Despite Softened Swiss Stance

More importantly, crypto traders are also barred from using their bank accounts to fund their accounts with fiat currency or withdraw fiat. However, the fact that cryptocurrencies are not actually banned in India should come as a glimmer of hope.

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Bitcoin Halving is Coming Soon

Bitcoin halving

Bitcoin halving

The crypto sphere has seen a lot of buzz over the past few months with regards to the Bitcoin halving that is going to take place in May. Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency in the world, and it is only natural that the upcoming halving event has caused such a stir in the crypto sphere at large.

Key Things to Watch

However, there is something else that needs to be considered at this point. The markets across the world have been sent into a tailspin due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is worthwhile to consider whether this is going to affect the halving event.

A halving event literally cuts the rewards earned by miners when mining a coin by 50%, and over the years, such an event has proven to be a good thing for Bitcoin. In the past, Bitcoin’s price saw a spike following such a measure because halving often led to a rush of new investors into the cryptocurrency. However, this time, the situation could be different.

The coronavirus pandemic has unleashed economic miseries, with hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs and having to take checks from the government. The turmoil could have an effect on the number of people who are actually willing to spend any money on buying cryptocurrencies after the Bitcoin halving.

>> Ripple’s Xpring Introduces Smart Features to XRP Ledger

Financial markets all over the world have been rocked by widespread sell-offs, and the United States Federal Reserve has had to announce a stimulus package worth trillions of dollars to try and stabilize the stock markets. As a matter of fact, there are widespread fears that the world is going to change forever due to the effect of this particular pandemic, and there is a feeling that cryptocurrencies might not even exist in the coming years. So it definitely seems likely that the current situation is going to have an effect on the Bitcoin halving event.

What do you think?

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Bakkt Futures Trading Volumes Continue to Grow—But There’s a Catch



Bakkt futures trading volume hit a record high of 4,269 BTC in a single day; however, very little Bitcoin has actually been physically settled on the exchange.

The launch of the futures trading exchange from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, was one of the most highly anticipated events on the 2019 crypto calendar. However, Bakkt got off to a sluggish start and traded only 623 futures contracts in the first week of launch in late September. Volume has started to pick up pace in recent weeks, hitting ~$37.45 million on Wednesday, passing its previous high of ~$19.96 million on November 22.

The interesting thing about Bakkt’s platform is that its futures are physically settled, meaning all trades are settled in Bitcoin rather than the cash equivalent. The catch is that very little Bitcoin has actually been settled by the exchange. According to trader Alex Krüger, in the months of October and November, Bakkt has delivered just 32 BTC, worth $242,000 at today’s prices, for its monthly futures.

Bakkt’s physically settled futures contracts are considered a revolutionary concept for the future of Bitcoin as it means institutional investors will end up holding Bitcoin in their portfolios rather than the cash equivalent, meaning real crypto adoption on Wall Street. “The more regulated volume, the better. Bakkt’s growth is very positive. Yet keep present Bakkt is not that different from the CME. It is almost entirely paper trading,” said Kruger.

>> Bitcoin Corrects 45% from Highs: Is the Correction Over?

Bakkt will launch cash-settled futures on December 9 in an effort to get closer to its biggest rival, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The CME has offered Bitcoin futures for nearly two years, and in Q3 of this year, it averaged 5,534 contracts per day, equal to 27,670 Bitcoin, worth $289 million at the time. However, CME settles its contracts with fiat currency, a direction in which Bakkt appears to be heading.

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Binance Makes Investment in Chinese Crypto Media Firm Mars Finance



Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has made an undisclosed investment in Chinese crypto news outlet Mars Finance.

Binance participated in a funding round for the blockchain media firm, which brought its valuation to $200 million USD in what was the third such financing since Mars Finance was founded last year. Specifically, Mars Finance provides information and news updates on blockchain, crypto markets, and asset management services. According to a press release issued by the company, it is now China’s most popular crypto news outlet in terms of traffic.

Mars Finance, which can be found at the domain, was founded in February 2018 by Wang Feng, and currently has about 124,000 monthly visitors according to SimilairWeb. The English language version of the website has been inactive for most of the year; however, with the launch of Binance US this week, perhaps the exchange made the investment with the intention of producing new content for the site aimed at investors in the US.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said of the investment, “We have large respect for data, news and research firms which support the positive growth of the blockchain industry. We will continue to pursue strategic investment opportunities in our mission to bring crypto further mainstream, increase adoption and accessibility, and help the industry grow sustainably.” This marks the first time Binance has made an investment in China since leaving country as a result of the local crypto trading ban in 2017.

>> Ripple (XRP) Soars 15% Suddenly, Other Cryptos Follow

Meanwhile, Binance looks set to launch in the US with Binance US accepting deposits from tomorrow, September 18. The exchange was previously blocked from launching in the US due to the fact the company never officially operated in the country. However, Binance US has the approval of regulators and is led by Ripple’s former head of institutional liquidity, Catherine Coley. Binance US will accept deposits of Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and USDT.

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