Paytm Founder Believes Crypto is Here to Stay 0 233

One of the most prominent digital payment companies based in India is Paytm and its founder recently shared his views about the cryptocurrency space. He appears to be quite positive about crypto and notes that it is here to stay. As a matter of fact, he thinks that crypto will become a mainstream technology in a couple of years. The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) organized a virtual conference on Thursday that provided Vijay Shekhar Sharma the opportunity to speak. Paytm’s founder said that cryptocurrency will stay and is the answer Silicon Valley has to Wall Street. 

A multinational technology company, Paytm is based in India and specializes in digital payments. Last week, the company completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO). Paytm disclosed in its IPO filing that its total number of registered users has reached an impressive 337 million and is dealing with 22 million merchants. Sharma opined that he was very positive about cryptocurrencies because they are based on cryptography and in a couple of years, they would also become a mainstream technology very much like the internet that has now become a part of our daily lives. The Paytm founder did admit that currently, people were only using crypto as a means of speculation.

He elaborated that right now, every government appears to be confused about cryptocurrency, but in a time span of five years, crypto would become mainstream technology. Sharma thinks that people will come to see what the world will be like without crypt. But, he was quick to add that this doesn’t imply that digital currency would actually replace sovereign currencies, such as the Indian rupee. The Paytm founder also added that once his company’s revenue goes past the $1 billion thresholds, he will launch the service in some developed countries as well. 

Currently, he said that Paytm was running the largest payments system in Japan in a JV, but they would go without a partner later on. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Paytm, Madhur Deora had said early this month that his company was considering offering bitcoin services to people, if cryptocurrencies are to be legalized in India. However, this does not seem to be likely any time soon because the Indian government has certainly not taken a positive stance towards these crypto assets. As a matter of fact, the government recently made headlines as it is pushing for crypto legislation in the country and not the good kind.

It is expected that a crypto bill will be introduced and passed in the parliament’s winter session that will begin next week. The purpose of the bill is to impose a ban on private cryptocurrencies, but there are expected to be some exceptions. But, since the bill has not been published, it is not clear as to what kind of exceptions will be applicable. There have been conflicting reports and debates, as some people believe that it just might legalize a few cryptocurrencies, while others believe it will ban them completely in favor of the digital rupee to be introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 

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IMF Says Russia and Iran May Use Crypto Mining for Monetizing Energy 0 60

The April 2022Global Financial Stability Report of the IMF has highlighted the consequences of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The document said that the role of the US dollar was bound to be affected because of the conflict, as it would lead to the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the global financial system’s resiliency would also be put to a test. The climate transition goals could also be put at risk because of the priorities associated with energy security. Another issue that would have to be dealt with in the coming years by lawmakers is the ‘cryptoization’ which is likely to occur because emerging markets are experiencing a widespread use of crypto.

IMF cited an increase in crypto trading volumes seen after the introduction of sanctions on Russia to back their statement. This included the financial penalties that had been imposed by Western nations on Russia because of its military invasion. The report said that such cross-border transactions were increasing in the long-term, which means that there would be challenges when it comes to imposing sanctions and managing capital flow. The IMF noted that crypto transactions have increased in both Russia and Ukraine because of the capital restrictions that have been imposed.

However, it is important to note that there has been a fall in liquidity in centralized exchanges where the hryvnia and ruble trading pairs are concerned. Therefore, using crypto exchanges for making large transfers has become rather impractical due to reduced liquidity. But, the IMF admitted that users do have the option of evading some measures via the crypto ecosystem because the identity verification requirements are quite lax in this industry. Hence, the international organization said that blocking new deposits of ruble and freezing crypto assets meant that users could have shifted to non-complying or less transparent crypto platforms and service providers.

Experts at IMF believe that both Russia and Iran could circumvent their respective sanctions via crypto mining. The nations could use their energy resources for generating revenue via crypto mining outside of the traditional financial system. Currently, the countries have a limited share of crypto mining activities, but there is a possibility that it could be increased, considering the size of the mining industry. The IMF quoted estimates showing that almost 11% of the mining revenues of bitcoin could have gone to Russia, which was around $1.4 billion per month, while Iran’s share had been 3%.

Bank of England Says Crypto Assets have Financial Stability Risks 0 100

On Thursday, the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England disclosed that they are working on developing a regulatory framework for digital assets. The central bank also made a reference to the sanctions that have been imposed because of the war between Russia and Ukraine in the statements. Bureaucrats and financial regulatory authorities all over the world have become increasingly concerned in recent times that Russia could take advantage of crypto assets to bypass the economic sanctions that have been imposed. The press statement of the BOE said that it was unlikely for crypto assets to provide Russia with a feasible way to get around sanctions at a large scale for now, but there was a possibility they could do so.

Therefore, it is a must to ensure that there are effective public policy frameworksthat can accompany innovation in crypto assets for maintaining the integrity and trust in the financial system. The crypto economy has been highly criticized by some members of the Bank of England for quite a while. Last year in mid-November, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, had expressed his concerns about the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. Sir Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor for financial stability for the central bank, said in the following month that prices of crypto assets could drop to zero.

On Thursday, the report of the FPC talked about financial stability. The committee of the central bank noted that the FPC is assessing the risks to the financial system’s stability and it has concluded that these are currently limited. This is because their size remains limited for now and they are not that connected with the wider financial system. However, the FPC said that if they continue to grow at the same pace, and if they become interconnected with the overall financial system, then these crypto assets could pose a risk to the stability of the financial system.

Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began, politicians and lawmakers all over the globe have been discussing, developing, or even proposing laws aimed at regulating and researching digital currencies. The FPC’s statements on Thursday show that the BOE wants to classify crypto assets in the same category as it does traditional financial assets. Not only does the FPC plan on developing a regulatory framework that would govern digital assets, it has also mentioned stablecoins.

The FPC said that a major stablecoin that does not have a reliable deposit guarantee could turn out to be a risk to the UK’s financial system. According to the committee, if they introduce a systemic stablecoin, which is backed through a deposit mad with a commercial bank, it would result in significant risks to the stability of the financial system. All of this talk about crypto has been brought forward because of the Russian-Ukraine conflict and the possibility of the former using cryptocurrencies to evade the tough economic sanctions that have been imposed by Western nations due to its actions.

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