Based on Finder’s survey of 2,068 Americans, 36.5 million people in the United States own some form of crypto to date.
The number of Americans who own cryptocurrencies has almost doubled in 2019, from 7.95% in 2018 to 14.4%, according to a new survey by Finder.
36.5 million Americans own crypto
Finder, an Australia-based financial services firm, has surveyed 2,068 Americans to figure out that 36.5 million people in the United States own some form of crypto to date.
Titled “A rising number of Americans own crypto,” the survey was released on Oct. 14, as Finder tweeted.
Average $5,447 holdings versus $360 median amount
According to the survey, the average amount out of the totally owned crypto by Americans accounts for $5,447. However, as nearly three-quarters of respondents actually held less than this amount, the median amount — the value separating the higher part — of cryptocurrency owned by U.S. people stands at $360.
More than half of American crypto holders are considered as “crypto polygamists” as 55.4% of Bitcoin (BTC) owners surveyed by Finder claimed that they also own another form of cryptocurrency. Similarly to other surveys, Finder’s survey says that men own crypto at nearly twice the rate of women, with 19% of men surveyed claiming they hold some type of crypto versus just 10% of women.
3 Reasons to own and not own crypto
According to Finder, the majority of Americans are owning some form of cryptocurrency because they consider it a type of investment. As such, 61% of respondents claimed that own crypto for investment purposes, while just 29.3% said they use it for transaction purposes. Meanwhile, as much as 25.6% of U.S. people hold crypto because they want to store their money outside traditional financial institutions.
On the other hand, lack of ease of use apparently remains the main reason why Americans preferred to stay away from crypto in 2019. According to Finder, 47.9% responded that crypto is “too complicated or difficult to understand” as a reason not to invest in it. That category is followed by 45% of people who simply are not interested in crypto and 23% who believes that crypto is too risky to deal with.
The results of the new research slightly alters from another crypto-related research that was held earlier this year. On April 30, venture capital firm Blockchain Capital released a survey claiming that 11% of the American population owns Bitcoin.
In late September, another survey showed that 32% of Europeans believe that crypto is the future of online payments.
A research paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco shows how negative interest rates could become an important policy tool for fighting future economic downturns. The paper examines the market response to the introduction of negative interest rates by five major central banks.
Fed Studies Negative Rates as Important Policy Tool
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published a research paper last week exploring the effects of central banks introducing negative interest rates. The paper, entitled “Yield Curve Responses to Introducing Negative Policy Rates,” is authored by Jens H.E. Christensen, a research advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This department conducts research on a wide range of topics in support of the Federal Reserve Bank’s policy and public outreach functions.
“Given the low level of interest rates in many developed economies, negative interest rates could become an important policy tool for fighting future economic downturns,” the author proposed, elaborating:
With short- and medium-term interest rates near historical lows in many developed countries, central banks’ latitude to provide adequate monetary stimulus during a future economic downturn has been severely curtailed.
Examining 5 Central Banks With Negative Rates
Christensen examined five central banks that have already introduced negative interest rates: the Danish National Bank, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Swiss National Bank, the Swedish Riksbank, and the Bank of Japan. The Danish National Bank introduced a negative rate in July 2012.
He explained that one way to measure the effects of negative interest rates “is through the financial market reaction as reflected in the change of the government bond yield curve when negative policy rates are introduced for the first time.” He clarified that government bond yields were chosen for the study because “they represent a common and widely used benchmark that is available in all five cases.”
According to his research, “The large level decline in the entire yield curve in all five cases reveals that the zero lower bound is a constraint only in theory and not in practice,” Christensen claims. “These results demonstrate that negative rates are effective in lowering yields of all maturities; they thereby help ease financial conditions in much the same way that lowering the policy rate works away from the zero lower bound.”
Christensen further asserted that “More importantly, though, subsequent developments have shown that short- and medium-term yields are able to assume values significantly below zero for a prolonged period,” referencing the two-year government bond yields chart shown below. “Also, the notable variation in negative medium-term yields implies that there is no obvious effective lower bound beyond the empirical fact that it is clearly located significantly below zero,” he further claims.
Reiterating that “the entire yield curve for government bonds in those economies tends to shift lower,” Christensen believes, “This suggests that negative rates may be an effective monetary policy tool to help ease financial conditions.” In addition, with “the ultimate effective lower bound for short-term nominal interest rates are significantly below zero, at least for the five economies considered here,” the Fed researcher concluded:
Central banks that have yet to introduce negative rates may take some comfort from this evidence as there appears to be room below zero for additional economic stimulus.
ECB Rate Cuts Affecting Banks
The European Central Bank’s key interest rate turned negative in 2014. Last month, the ECB cut its key rate to a record low of -0.5% from -0.4%. The negative rate policy is forcing European banks to pass on the burden to their customers, such as in the case of major German coop bank Berliner Volksbank. The bank started applying a -0.5% rate on deposits exceeding 100,000 euros (~$110,000) this month.
A number of European central bankers have voiced their concerns over further ECB rate cuts. Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco, for example, said at a conference on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank fall meetings on Thursday: “Banks may shrink their loan supply. That is the reason why we are on one side concerned.” He was further quoted by Reuters as saying:
I think we have to be very careful of the possible negative effects of negative rates.
Oswald Gruebel, a former Credit Suisse CEO and an ex-executive of UBS Group AG, remarked in a recent interview: “Negative interest rates are crazy. That means money is not worth anything any more … As long as we have negative interest rates, the financial industry will continue to shrink.”
What do you think of the Federal Reserve study suggesting that negative interest rates could be an effective monetary policy tool? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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The ownership of tether (USDT) turns out to be quite concentrated. According to a recent report, a few addresses control the bulk of the stablecoin, which is widely used by bitcoin traders. The finding comes on top of fresh accusations of creating a bubble levied in a lawsuit against tether’s operators. That adds to the persistent critique that the coin isn’t backed one-to-one with U.S. dollars as previously claimed.
Just 104 tether addresses hold 70% of the stablecoin’s circulating supply, according to an investigation conducted by blockchain intelligence company Intotheblock. Considering tether’s supply and its $1-dollar price, the fiat equivalent is over $2.8 billion. Such a small number of addresses controlling that large of share could be a cause of concern.
The researchers have also confirmed tether’s high and fast turnover. In the last seven days alone, Intotheblock tweeted on Tuesday, the total volume of large transactions worth over $100,000 amounted to a staggering $2.4 billion. Besides, the average period a USDT token is held is only 17.8 days, the company pointed out.
Let’s talk about #Tether and provide you with a few onchain fundamentals:
– There are 104 addresses that control 70% of the circulating supply
– In the last 7 days, the total volume of large transactions (greater than $100k) was $2.4b
– The avg the token is held: 17.8 days
High wealth concentration is a phenomenon observed with decentralized cryptocurrencies as well. A tweet from Glassnode, another onchain data provider, highlighted an ongoing trend: the number of bitcoin core whale addresses is growing. Those holding over 1,000 BTC have increased by 500 in a year, reaching a high of almost 2,100.
Various studies have noted the wealth disparity in the crypto space with one recent piece of research claiming that around 2% of BTC addresses control approximately 80% percent of the cryptocurrency. And a report published earlier this year by digital asset market analysis firm Delphi Digital stated that only 7,500 ETH wallets hold 80% of ethereum’s circulating supply.
Tether and the entities associated with it, the issuer Tether Limited and crypto exchange Bitfinex, have been attacked by the crypto community for various reasons. One of them has to do with doubts that each token is backed with $1 USD. Adding oil to the fire recently, Tether’s cofounder William Quigley stated controversially in an interview with Bloomberg that “Whether or not Tether was backed by the dollar actually wouldn’t matter if everybody agreed to take Tether and to value them at a dollar themselves.”
Earlier this year, Bitfinex was accused by the New York Attorney General of using Tether’s funds to cover up $850 million missing since the middle of 2018. And in the beginning of October, a class action lawsuit against the operators of Tether and Bitfinex was filed in New York accusing them of managing a scheme to defraud investors, manipulate markets, and conceal illicit proceeds. As news.Botcoin.com reported, the lawsuit claims Tether created “the largest bubble in human history” and caused damages for over a trillion dollars.
Regardless of one’s attitude towards tether and despite the controversies around it, the coin’s importance in cryptocurrency trade has grown tremendously. A quick look at markets.Bitcoin.com shows that its 24-hour volume, $19.35 billion at the time of writing, exceeds that of bitcoin core (BTC), $15.74 billion, the crypto with the largest capitalization. Tether’s circulating supply is currently over 4.1 billion USDT.
What’s your opinion about the wealth concentration observed with tether and in the crypto space in general? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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A poll conducted among university students in China indicates that many of them see a bright future for cryptocurrencies in their country. A quarter of the respondents said they would seek employment in the industry that deals with digital assets and related technologies. Approximately one in 12 students already owns digital coins.
17% of Polled Students Have Had Investments in Crypto
China has a mixed attitude towards cryptocurrencies in general. On the one hand, the government in Beijing effectively expelled coin offering projects and major exchanges out of the mainland. On the other, the crypto mining industry is allowed to thrive in certain regions in the country with cheap, abundant energy in optimal climatic conditions. Plans for a digital yuan are also moving forward with the People’s Bank of China recently hiring six crypto experts.
Unlike authorities, however, the Chinese people have been embracing decentralized currencies with much less hesitation and for obvious reasons – not only the utility they bring but also their censorship resistance. The poll confirms that the young and tech savvy have predominantly positive expectations about the future of the crypto space and are the most eager adopters. Over 8% of Chinese students currently own some cryptocurrency, while another 9% had previously invested in digital assets.
The survey has been conducted by Panews among attendants of 131 colleges and universities in 26 Chinese provinces, the crypto news outlet 8btc reported this weekend. The majority of the respondents, over 77%, are undergraduates, with the rest being graduate students. Most of them are specializing in the fields of economics, management, and engineering but there are also some who study literature, for example.
27% of Future Graduates Want to Work in the Crypto Industry
It’s worth noting that almost 27% of the students in the survey indicated they would seek employment in the growing blockchain industry in the future. Media remains the main source of information about the crypto space and nearly 40% of the students describe media reports as influential. Despite that, close to a quarter of the participants admit they don’t know anything about blockchain. 22% acknowledge that the coverage in mainstream media is mostly negative, while 17% claim they hear more positive news.
The authors of the study point out that crypto-related educational courses are still rare in Chinese higher education institutions. At the same time, the level of awareness about cryptocurrencies is relatively high, with 67% of those polled stating they know bitcoin. Around 15% admitted they hadn’t heard anything about the digital currencies ethereum, neo, and Facebook’s Libra project. Just seven of the respondents knew all entries in a list of 11 crypto terms like “mining,” “stablecoin,” and “hash value.”
Although the People’s Republic approaches cryptocurrencies with caution and has already tried to limit their spread in Chinese society and economy, Beijing has not turned a blind eye to the development of decentralized coins. For instance, the country’s Center for Information and Industry Development publishes regular crypto rankings evaluating various projects in the space based on their own logic. If you want to learn how the global market evaluates cryptocurrencies, you can always check their current price and cap at markets.Bitcoin.com.
Do you think the young generations in China will tip the scales in favor of cryptocurrencies? Share your opinion in the comments section below.
The use of digital assets to make payments is growing, according to a recently published study. It reveals that cryptocurrency’s role as a viable means of payment has been expanding and this year’s market rebound has increased the turnover of crypto payments. The report suggests that debit cards linked to digital currency wallets will remain an important tool until wider adoption of direct cryptocurrency payments.
Crypto Payments Industry Expands With Growing Markets
The study highlights a general correlation between upward market trends and the expansion of the crypto payments industry. Its Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) increased 21% between 2014 and 2015 and jumped over 600% two years later. But even during the bearish 2018, when the price of major cryptocurrencies took a hit, the sector’s CAGR expanded by around 90% year over year. The recovery that started this year has had a positive effect and the rising volume of payments this spring indicates that the recession is over.
The industry assessment has been conducted by Crypterium, a payment solutions provider that recently launched a crypto debit card, one of the few products in this niche that’s available globally. The analysis examines the performance of leading cryptocurrency payment providers such as Bitpay, Coinsbank, Cryptopay, Spectrocoin, Wirex, and Xapo. It covers two main types of services offered on the market: those allowing merchants to accept digital currency directly and solutions enabling customers to pay with crypto assets through conversion to fiat.
Statistical data gathered by Crypterium shows that the average value of transactions processed by the payment platforms stabilized during last year’s decline in a relatively narrow range between $1,000-2,000. The volume of crypto payments and the average amount have increased in 2019, reaching a seven-month high in April. The researchers believe that, helped by the crypto market recovery, the increasing number of payment providers in the sector which offer new solutions for both merchants and customers will help the industry achieve “gradual and sustainable organic growth.”
The report further identifies the regions that concentrate the most crypto holders who are using digital assets to make payments. The authors emphasize that the number of wallet addresses has been constantly growing and active wallets worldwide have reached 34 million in the first quarter of 2019, increasing by 44% just in the last 12 months. According to another study that news.Bitcoin.com covered in May, the figure is even higher – 36 million.
High Income Countries Adopt Cryptocurrency Payments Faster
A key finding in the Crypterium analysis is that cryptocurrency payments are more popular in high-income nations in general. Based on data for trading and mining activity from the largest digital asset exchanges and mining pools, Crypterium has shortlisted the top 20 countries. Coins are increasingly used as a payment instrument in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and China. The company concludes that their adoption is triggered by different factors depending on the jurisdiction. The most common reasons to trust cryptocurrencies include the desire to maximize efficiency in payments and the need to protect assets against hyperinflation.
To better understand why people choose decentralized coins over traditional payment methods like cash, fiat payment processors and bank cards, the researchers have analyzed various factors such as debit and credit card ownership, internet accessibility, mobile phone ownership as well as macroeconomic indicators including gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and share of shadow economy. Based on their qualitative and quantitative assessment, they have grouped the leading 20 countries in three categories: Innovators, Shadows and Survivors.
The United States, Canada, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Japan, and South Korea are the so-called ‘innovators.’ They are characterized by deep penetration of banking and digital financial services and unrestricted access to mobile services. According to the authors, they offer the best opportunity for merchants to capitalize on increasing crypto adoption as most customers there have access to the internet and own a mobile device.
Medium to low income countries – Russia, China, Brazil, Poland, and Turkey – have been labeled as ‘shadows.’ Many of their citizens have lost trust in government institutions, banks and national currencies due to economic recessions. They often see cryptocurrencies as an alternative tool to make payments and receive income. The group of the ‘survivors’ includes Vietnam, India, Iran, Venezuela, and South Africa. Their populations have poor access to traditional banking services and they look at digital coins as a way to overcome economic challenges like hyperinflation and save on money transfers.
Debit Cards Remain Viable Option for Crypto Users
Until wider adoption comes around, debit cards tied to crypto wallets are likely to continue to offer the most applicable solution for cryptocurrency users who want to spend their electronic cash on a wide range of products and services. The prepaid cards that can be loaded with digital coins can be used in both brick and mortar stores and online platforms to purchase anything that can be bought with regular bank cards as they convert your crypto assets and merchants are paid with fiat money. They also allow you to withdraw cash directly from regular ATMs.
In its study, Crypterium, the issuer of a new crypto debit card, has mentioned five established platforms that provide this type of product: Wirex, which offers a crypto card in the European Economic Area, Coinbase, popular in the U.K., Bitpay, which is a working option for U.S. residents, Cryptopay, with its card available in the Russian Federation, and MCO, which issues Visa cards in Singapore. However, there are many more options on the market, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported, such as Paycent, Uquid, Bitsa, and the ADV cards.
The team behind the in-depth analysis of the crypto payments sector notes the strong demand for cryptocurrency cards. Companies that launched such products saw their average monthly turnover figures increase three times, the authors claim. Again, there’s a correlation between the state of crypto markets and the interest in debit cards facilitating cryptocurrency payments. The number of monthly searches for ‘bitcoin cards’ has reached a 12-month high in May 2019. Users recognize the importance of these cards for mass crypto adoption. Almost 70% of the responders in Crypterium’s 2018 Customer Survey indicated that cryptocurrency cards are the best option to achieve that at the moment.
Former Visa Executive Leads Company Issuing Global Crypto Card
The future of crypto cards seems bright, as global payment card ownership in general is growing rapidly. The number of debit card owners is expected to double in less than a decade and according to the World Bank, it will reach 69% in 2020. Crypterium has one of the latest offerings in the market and it’s also one of the few that can be ordered anywhere in the world. The Global Bitcoin card launched recently with support for bitcoin core, ethereum, USD coin and Crypterium’s own token, CRPT. Nevertheless, the fintech company plans to expand their number with over a dozen other cryptos within a year and bitcoin cash (BCH) is one of the currencies it’s considering, Crypterium CEO Steven Parker assured news.Bitcoin.com.
“Cards is definitely a key part of the Crypterium proposition. A payment card is still the most convenient ‘channel’ to enter the mainstream payments eco-system and the easiest way to make a payment in the online and offline worlds and also withdraw your money in cash,” Parker emphasized. “So we do envisage a growing number of crypto cards. Our belief is that fiat cards enabling crypto transfers will indeed become a strong segment in cards. However, we do also see a big opportunity for NFC channels such as Apple Pay and Google Pay and we intend to launch those types of service by the end of the year. Also, our company roots are in QR codes and we are still seeing how we can integrate that type of functionality. QR codes are huge in China,” the executive added.
Steven Parker noted there are different flavors across different regions but he believes crypto payments will grow all around the world. “Of course, we see the highest ownership of cryptocurrencies in places like the U.S. and Korea. But as in payments generally, I think we shall see different adoption rates. Asia is already led by mobile payments, so I can imagine crypto payments growing faster there. We see large developing markets such as Brazil or Russia, as a big opportunity. And, of course, some of the more interesting consumer innovations – prompted by the Open Banking revolution – is happening in Europe,” he elaborated. The executive thinks crypto adoption can mirror local financial habits and Crypterium has integrated, for example, the ability to transfer in and out via Iban accounts.
Parker spent over seven years at Visa as General Manager for Central and Eastern Europe and Head of Marketing for the greater region that encompasses the Middle East and Africa as well. He was approached by Crypterium in late 2018 with a simple proposition: to make payments, especially person-to-person and cross-border, faster, more seamless and cheaper. He also recognizes that traditional financial services are expensive and exclude many people who don’t have access to bank accounts. Through services like those offered by his Estonia-based fintech company, anyone with a mobile phone can open up a wallet and immediately receive and make payments. “I think that’s amazing and the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies is what makes it possible,” the former Visa executive stated.
What is your take on the current state of cryptocurrency payments? Do you expect to see more crypto debit cards in the near future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Cryptocurrency usage has been expanding globally and a new survey confirms that trend. The poll conducted by Statista shows that the citizens of troubled countries tend to exploit the benefits of decentralized digital money far more readily than the citizens of thriving nations.
The 2019 edition of the Statista Global Consumer Survey offers a worldwide perspective on consumption and explores how consumers think. It covers dozens of industries and attempts to answer questions like “How many Americans have a video on demand subscription?” and “What is the demographic profile of online food shoppers in the UK?” It polls more than 400,000 consumers in 46 countries.
“How common are cryptocurrencies around the world?” is another key question put forward by the authors of the survey. It’s been asked of around 1,000 people in each participating country. The results present the share of respondents who said they used or owned cryptocurrencies.
According to a summary of the study published recently by Statista, Latin America is a region where crypto holders and users form large minorities. Five of the top 10 countries in the sample are located south of the U.S. border. All of them scored in the double digits in terms of crypto adoption. In Brazil and Colombia, 18% of the respondents have admitted to owning and using digital assets. They are followed by Argentina with 16% and Chile with 11%.
Venezuela is a notable omission in the summary. Uncontrollable hyperinflation has created favorable conditions for wider adoption of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH). There are now over 200 businesses accepting BCH payments in Caracas and other cities in the country, according to the Marco Coino app. It’s likely that many more merchants, such as the mining parts supplier Coincoin, accept BCH and other major digital currencies.
Inflation-Hit Turkey Leads the Pack, Spain Scores the Highest in Western Europe
Turkey is the pronounced leader among individual countries included in the study. The nation, which sits on the border between two continents, has experienced high inflation in the last couple of years. The depreciation of the national fiat currency, the lira, has resulted in cryptocurrencies steadily gaining popularity. A fifth of the Turkish participants in the Statista poll declared they own crypto.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spain, which has been trying to overcome its own long list of economic and financial problems, is the Western nation with the highest number of cryptocurrency users at 11%. However, Eastern European countries and some in Asia have ranked higher than most developed nations. These include the Russian Federation (9%) as well as China and Indonesia (11% each).
Among the surveyed First World nations, Denmark has scored 8%, followed by Australia with 7%, the United Kingdom and the U.S. with 6% and 5% respectively, and France and Germany with 4%. Surprisingly, only 3% of the respondents from Japan, which is considered a leader in terms of crypto regulations and adoption, confirmed they have real experience with cryptocurrencies.
Do these results surprise you in any way? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
An Indian government-initiated program is offering a course for undergraduates to learn about cryptocurrency, blockchains, and their use cases. This 12-week interactive course is free to enroll and learn from. Among the topics covered are Bitcoin basics and consensus. Meanwhile, India’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrency is reportedly ready.
A learning platform called Swayam, which was initiated by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, is offering a free computer science course on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchains. This 12-week undergraduate course entitled “Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases” runs from July 29 to Oct. 18. The exam will be on Nov. 17 for those wanting to obtain a certificate from the course. This is an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved Faculty Development Programme (FDP) course.
The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centers.
The certification exam is optional but costs Rs 1000 (~$14). It will be conducted in various cities throughout the country which will be revealed at the time of signing up. Cities that have held exams for other Swayam courses include Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Thane, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Thiruvananthapuram.
A similar course was previously offered in July last year and January this year through the NPTEL website, a project funded by the same ministry. 20,735 people enrolled in July last year and 14,746 enrolled in January. New NPTEL courses from the July semester onward will only be offered through the Swayam platform.
“Swayam seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy,” its website details:
All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to any learner … More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the country have participated in preparing these courses.
What Students Will Learn
In the first week of the course, students will learn “Basic Crypto Primitives” and an “Introduction to Blockchain,” which includes the basics, history, architecture, and conceptualization. Basic Crypto Primitives continues through the second week when students will also learn more of the basics of Bitcoin and “Distributed Consensus.”
While the majority of the coursework focuses on code and computer science concepts, the Bitcoin Basics lectures give the full picture of Bitcoin including some limited economics and how the cryptocurrency is in competition with central banks globally. “You must limit the currency to have their value. If you put up a lot of currency in the system, it will gradually reduce the value of that particular currency,” one of the lectures explains.
In the third week, “Consensus in Bitcoin” will be taught, including the basics of proof-of-work and the role of miners. Students will also learn about permissioned blockchains which will continue to the following week. The fifth and sixth weeks will focus on hyperledger with the remaining of the course discussing applications for blockchains, including uses in government and financial services.
The reading material for the course includes “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies” by Andreas Antonopoulos and “Blockchain” by Melanie Swan.
The course has two instructors listed: Professor Sandip Chakraborty and Dr. Praveen Jayachandran. The former is an assistant professor with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur); his research focuses on computer systems, distributed systems and mobile computing. The latter is a researcher and manager of the Indian Blockchain and Smart Contracts team at IBM Research.
Discussion of Indian Crypto Regulation Heats Up
This Swayam course will start one week after the Indian supreme court is scheduled to hear the cryptocurrency case. The court is expected to address the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency as well as the banking ban by the central bank on July 23.
The interministerial panel tasked with drafting the country’s cryptocurrency regulation is ready to submit its recommendations to the finance minister, according to Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg who heads the panel.
Meanwhile, there has been much speculation about what the regulation entails. Two major publications in India, Bloombergquint and the Economic Times, have claimed to know some details of the cryptocurrency bill. However, a number of industry experts have analyzed their articles and concluded differently.
The actual report containing the recommended cryptocurrency framework for India will soon be submitted to the finance minister who recently attended the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Japan where crypto asset regulations were discussed. India, along with other G20 countries, has reaffirmed that it will follow the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force which is expected to release its new Guidance for Virtual Currencies later this month.
What do you think of Swayam offering this crypto and blockchain course? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and NPTEL.
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Researchers estimate that the annual emissions of CO2 generated by BTC are greater than the entire output of some small countries.
The carbon emissions generated by bitcoin (BTC) are comparable to the whole of Kansas City, and even a small country, according to a study published in the Joule journal on June 12.
Christian Stoll, one of the researchers involved in the project, said the large energy consumption generated through mining translates into a significant carbon footprint. And, as the computing power needed to solve a bitcoin puzzle has more than quadrupled since last year, it is a problem that is getting worse, the study notes. It adds:
“The magnitude of these carbon emissions, combined with the risk of collusion and concerns about control over the monetary system, might justify regulatory intervention to protect individuals from themselves and others from their actions.”
Researchers used data from IPO filings and IP addresses in order to generate their findings. With annual emissions of CO2 estimated at between 22 and 22.9 megatons, bitcoin is placed somewhere between Jordan and Sri Lanka in international terms. The study suggests that this level would double if every other cryptocurrency was also taken into account.
Stoll, a researcher for the University of Munich and MIT, warned:
“We do not question the efficiency gains that blockchain technology could, in certain cases, provide. However, the current debate is focused on anticipated benefits, and more attention needs to be given to costs.”
Last November, a study reviewing the period from January 2016 to June 2018 found that it took four times more energy to mine $1 of BTC than $1 of copper — and twice as much as it takes to mine $1 of gold or platinum.
A PwC report in March warned that renewable energy would not be enough to solve bitcoin’s sustainability problem. In the same month, a county in the United States state of Montana discussed plans that would nonetheless require crypto miners to use renewable energy.