India Could Finally Have a Regulatory Framework for Crypto By Year’s End

It seems as if the end may be near when it comes to determining regulations, or even some semblance of clarity, for cryptocurrencies in India. This comes after months of delays, controversial statements, and, of course, the infamous ban.

According to Quartz India, next month could see the government present its draft cryptocurrency regulations. This is part of an ongoing court case after some in the crypto industry took the Reserve Bank of India to court for issuing a ban prohibiting financial institutions from having anything to do with cryptocurrencies.

India working on cryptocurrency regulations.

India Stops Straddling the Regulation Fence

At one of the court sittings last month, the judge requested that the government file a counter-affidavit detailing their plans to issue a framework on cryptocurrencies. This was subsequently filed on the 19th of November. The draft that is discussed in the counter-affidavit was developed by a panel that the finance ministry set up in November last year. The document went on to state that more work will be going into the draft over the next few weeks. It also stated:

…currently, serious efforts are going on for preparation of the draft report and the draft bill on virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in (the) financial system and framework for digital currency in India. The draft report and bill will be circulated to members of IMC (inter-ministerial committee). Thereafter the next meeting of IMC will be held so that discussion can take place on the draft report and bill. It is expected that the draft report will be placed before the IMC by next month.

Cryptocurrency in India.

The Case of the Controversial Ban Continues

The panel will meet again next month and in January next year to further discuss the draft report. While there has been a delay in the whole regulation creation process, Subhash Chandra Garg, who is heading the panel, has previously advised that the country would most likely see policies in place by March 2019.

The government’s counter-affidavit comes just before the ongoing case is set to be heard in the Supreme Court today, on the 20th of November.

The lack of clear regulations in India, as well as the aforementioned ban, has resulted in good crypto talent leaving the country. Zebpay was put under immense pressure after the enforcement of the ban and moved to crypto-friendly Malta. It has also instilled a sense of fear into those remaining in the country, especially after the co-founders of Unocoin were recently arrested after they launched the country’s first crypto ATM.

Do you think that we’ll finally see a resolution to the ban as well as clear crypto regulations in India? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Reasons Privacy Coins Are Unlikely to Overtake Bitcoin

When people give reasons for various altcoins’ inability to overtake bitcoin as the dominant digital asset in the world, the conversation sometimes doesn’t move far past the network effects surrounding the world’s most dominant crypto asset. However, there are other reasons, sometimes related to bitcoin’s strong network effects, to look at when discussing specific categories of altcoins. Here are three reasons it’s unlikely that a privacy coin will be able to overtake bitcoin.

  1. Moving In and Out of Monero

The main selling point of any privacy-focused altcoin is obviously the ability to transact on a more opaque blockchain. While the transaction data is still public, it’s much more difficult to understand the details behind each transaction on these types of networks.

Put another way: There isn’t much of a need to hold a privacy coin. The privacy-related features of the coin can be attained by buying the coin and then sending it to someone else.

Because of this appcoin nature of privacy coins, many users prefer to, for example, hold bitcoin and switch into monero only when they need to make a transaction. There are even services specifically built around this functionality. This temporary use of the privacy coin does not have much long-term effect on the price or market cap of the coin.

Bitcoin is more liquid (more buyers and sellers) and less volatile, which makes it a more preferable coin to hold for most users, as the market indicates.

Dream Marketplace, which is currently the most popular darknet market (according to DeepDotWeb), currently only accepts bitcoin and BCH. In this way, monero is effectively an appcoin for tumbling bitcoin. Having said that, real data in this regard is difficult to come by due to the pseudonymous (and sometimes anonymous) nature of darknet markets and forums.

In December 2016, a spokesperson for AlphaBay, which was the largest darknet market at the time, told Bitcoin Magazine that monero accounted for around two percent of all transactions on the site.

  1. Trade Offs

Extra privacy or security — either online or in the real world — tends to come with tradeoffs. When it comes to blockchains, this usually means less-efficient transactions that require more computing resources to process and store. Having said that, there are other tradeoffs to consider such as Zcash’s trusted setup and less-tested technology.

Multiple developers who work on the Bitcoin Core project have noted that one of the reasons Confidential Transactions (an upgrade that would mask the amounts used in transactions) has not been added to Bitcoin is due to efficiency concerns, although there are also concerns related to a hypothetical break in the fundamental security of elliptic curve cryptography.

In other words, the privacy gains are not worth the increased costs of processing transactions (and therefore the ability to run one’s own full node).

If privacy-focused cryptocurrency networks like Monero and Zcash were processing as many transactions per day as Bitcoin, the costs of operating nodes on those privacy-focused networks would be much higher than running a Bitcoin node. Monero transactions are currently around eight or nine times the size of bitcoin transactions, even after the introduction of the recent Bulletproofs upgrade.

Zcash has also recently introduced efficiency improvements when shielded transactions are used on the network through their Sapling upgrade; however, there is still work to be done in terms of bringing down the costs of completing private transactions on a public blockchain. And this brings us to the final point.

  1. Bitcoin Can Adapt

As mentioned previously, some privacy upgrades have not found their way into Bitcoin mainly due to the view that the tradeoffs are simply not worth it right now, which would undermine the core value the system provides in the first place. As further progress is made in terms of privacy-conscious transactions, it is likely that these upgrades will make their way into the world’s most widely-used digital asset.

While Confidential Transactions may be a change that will be seen further down the road, things like Schnorr Signatures and off-chain transaction systems like the Lightning Network are much closer to reality. Additionally, tools like Samourai Wallet and Wasabi Wallet are already available to those who wish to use bitcoin as privately as possible today.

Holding privacy-focused altcoins for the long term (short term gambles are a different matter) are basically a bet that Bitcoin will never implement sufficient improvements in the area of privacy, but the general outline for adding more privacy to Bitcoin already exists.

‘People Have Panicked’ – BTC Price Rout Business as Usual for John McAfee

Bitcoin’s big names came together to reassure “panicked” investors November 20 after the BTC price today slid beyond recent lows to hit $4500.

Resistance Eyed At $4K

The continuing result of Bitcoin Cash’s instability after it hard forked last week, BTC/USD 00 hit its lowest in over a year, finding support only around $4480.

At press time, the pair was circling $4600, while analysts warned that although major barriers such as $4000 would not be broken “without a fight,” it was likely current levels were “not a bottom.”

“$4800 was not a bottom by any means – my arbitrary line in the sand was the wrong arbitrary line,” the Twitter account known as Crypto Dog laments Tuesday.

…Judging by volume, we are still quite far from a bottom. So far this sell off has been relatively weak (volume wise).

Altcoin markets had seen decidedly more determined sell-offs. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin Cash 00 led the rout, losing almost half its value in just 24 hours as the consequences of two rival chains’ infighting suddenly showed.

Ethereum (ETH) 00, formerly the largest altcoin by market cap, also dipped to new lows, sparking fears it could soon lose its place in the top three assets as Stellar limits its losses.

Hastening ‘Capitulation’ To $3K

For John McAfee meanwhile, the latest bloodbath constituted nothing more than another “winter.”

“People have panicked. But there’s no fucking need. We’re in a bear market. They suck, yes, and not like a hooker with no teeth,” he urged.

bitcoin price bear market

“But I’m 73 and have seen this dozens of times in many markets. Bear markets are like Winter. It’s always followed by a glorious Spring.”

His optimism mirrored that of BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee, who on Monday called for a “capitulation” of short-term traders in order to produce a definitive BTC/USD low.

At current rates, the pair is around halfway to the ‘bottom’ as predicted multiple times by celebrated trading guru Tone Vays, who has forecast $3000 as a target to hit before markets reversed.

Bitcoinist reminds readers of the pledge McAfee made regarding a $1 million Bitcoin price by 2020 – or 772 days’ time.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s current price performance? Let us know in the comments below!

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