Is India close to regulate crypto? A draft is expected in December

TL;DR

  • The Indian government has announced that regulations regarding the use of cryptocurrency will be drafted in December 2018
  • This happens following heavy restrictions on banks in regards to providing services for cryptocurrency exchanges and has led businesses, including Zebpay Exchange, to migrate out of India.

India seems to be a step closer to drafting detailed regulations for cryptocurrencies. The draft, that is expected for next month, will include clarifications on how cryptocurrency assets can be traded and: it would address “virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in (the) financial system and framework for digital currency in India.” The revelation was achieved after a counter-affidavits filed by the country’s ruling party at the country’s Supreme Court.

The cryptocurrency industry has been in a state of limbo for the last few months due to a lack of firm regulation, and while nations like Malta (“the blockchain island”) have made cryptocurrencies and blockchain a recognized part of private and government affairs, India seems to have been yet dragging their feet.

India’s long history with cryptocurrency

The relationship between India and the crypto industry has been a complicated one:
Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India instructed banks not to have any business affairs with cryptocurrency exchanges. About a month ago, the founders of Unocoin Exchange were arrested in India. There has even been a talk of the government considering a complete ban on private use of cryptocurrency in India.

As a result, there was a significant decline in cryptocurrency businesses in the country, while some migrated: Zebpay, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, closed its headquarters in India and moved to operate from Malta.

According to Subhash Chandra Garg, the head of the committee and secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, meetings will be held between December 2018 and January 2019, with the regulations to be implemented by March 2019.

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OKEX Denies Guilty in the BCH Futures Issue: Customers’ Lousy Management Led to Losses

TL;DR

  • Due to BCH hard fork and following hash wars, numerous investors experienced significant losses, with a lot of them blaming cryptocurrency exchange OKEX for it.
  • The exchange was accused of an attempt at market manipulation by ending BCH futures contracts trading early and suddenly, while the prices were damaging to investors.
  • OKEX denied these allegations, explaining its acts and methods, and claiming that it acted the way it did to protect the market and customers’ interests. Furthermore, OKEX considers legal actions for hurting its reputation.

Recent events regarding the Bitcoin ecosystem has brought a lot of changes that affected the entire crypto space. Numerous coins lost a lot of their value, and the community is looking for someone to blame.

On November 14th, just one day before the BCH hard fork, OKEX announced that BCH futures would stop trading “at 9:05 am and be delivered at 10:00 am Nov 14, 2018, CET (UTC +1)” because of an upcoming hard fork. However, during the same day, they also announced the decision to use the last traded prices as delivery prices, since it was not possible to compose an index for delivery.

The exchange was directly accused of making market manipulations by an entity known as AMBER AI, a global electronic trading firm.

Several media outlets reported on this and similar accusations against OKEX, stating that the exchange is blamed for causing losses via settling the BCH futures contracts without prior warning. The decision to do so apparently negatively affected multiple investors, since the contracts were closed at a level that did not reflect proper market prices.

OKEX Response: Amber is HK based while OKEX is banned in HK

When asked by CryptoPotato editor, OKEX denies any attempt to make market manipulations or purposeful wrongdoing. Instead, OKEX declares that “the exchange has no institutional client profile going by the name of Amber AI, which is supposedly a Hong Kong-based firm.” OKEX also claims that they serve no customers in Hong Kong and this is according to the local laws.

As for the Amber AI account mentioned in the Medium post, this is classified as an individual account belonging to a person that is not a resident of Hong-Kong.

In regards to allegations of the early settlement of BCH futures contracts, OKEX stated that “the decision to do so was implemented due to market integrity and concern regarding customer interests.” Furthermore, they quoted the clause 2.5 of their Futures Trading User Agreement, which states that the exchange may postpone or early settlement and delivery of futures contracts in case of market anomalies occurring prior or after settlement and delivery.

Considering the likely effects that BCH hard fork was expected to have on the market, OKEX decided to deliver all BCH futures contracts in advance, solely to protect the customers and the markets. As for the settlement price, it is usually constructed based on the spot index, which was impossible to create due to the fact that other BCH index constituents (Coinbase and Binance in addition to OKEX itself) already paused trading. Under these circumstances, the exchange made a decision which they believed to be the best option.

OKEX considers legal actions against Amber AI

Therefore, all allegations of manipulating the market made by Amber AI are classified as false by OKEX itself, and the exchange will continue to view them as such due to the absence of any evidence that would prove otherwise. However, because such accusations are false, and have damaged the exchange’s reputation, OKEX reserves the right to take legal actions against Amber AI for interfering in their business.

OKEX concluded the response by claiming that Amber AI experienced losses due to their lousy management plan, which is not the exchange’s fault. They argue that the majority of their users supported the decision regarding the BCH futures contracts.

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Crypto Community’s Daily Digest: Can Ripple Overtake Bitcoin to Become The Largest Cryptocurrency?

While Bitcoin, along with most cryptocurrencies, has severly decreased, Ripple kept getting stronger and gained value against Bitcoin.

Ripple has taken the second place from Ethereum in the market cap leaders, and currently, the two coins are almost $4 Billion away, which is around 23% from each other. Is Ripple aiming to replace Bitcoin for the long-term as the top cryptocurrency? Crypto experts from all around had to deal with that question.

XRP bulls are coming in

In addition to the price increase, Ripple has had a series of positive events in the past few weeks, which included new partnerships and trading platforms, as well as increased adoption for the cryptocurrency. Nowdays, the crypto community’s social media is buzzing with people who are bullish on Ripple, even to surpass Bitcoin.

“One of these is $BTC, and the other is $XRP. Same time frame, same time,” @Simon_Rees emphasized on Twitter the difference between Ripple and Bitcoins’ charts.

“While everyone focused on $BTC, I went and got some $XRP. That’s where my focus will remain,” entrepreneur David Gokhshtein tweeted.

“$XRP pushed ahead of Ethereum in market cap, a lead which has grown to more than $2 Billion (now almost 4). From xRapid interoperability to a new partnership with one of Asia’s largest banks, the pump follows a week of nonstop news on #Ripple and XRP,” Twitter user @PhillipNunnUK stated.

There are critics too

Not everybody is bullish on XRP. Despite the cryptocurrency’s second rank among all coins, Ripple has received criticism for being centralized and governed by large banks, which is the opposite of the purpose of cryptocurrencies.

“$XRP will never replace $BTC because it doesn’t offer the same value proposition. It’s good for what it is (a cheaper and faster SWIFT) and congrats to anyone who made money off it, but it’s not permissionless decentralized money without masters,” Rocky or @CryptoHustle stated.

Others were not as friendly as Rocky: “If you sincerely believe $XRP will flip $BTC you might want to get an MRI scan,” Zissou tweeted.

“The higher $XRP climbs, the more I am certain it will flip $BTC in 2019. Very obvious this will be our new crypto standard. Hard to accept for many but so was Bitcoin back in 2010,” user Bitlord tweeted sarcastically. “Ripple actually combines the best (and worst) of both worlds: Decentralisation + Crypto and banking = unstoppable.”

Bitcoin SV developer Craig Wright even called Ripple “the biggest scam in the space.”

“I look forward to when this sham offer is revoked. This idea of issuing non-registered securities and selling to noobs who want to get rich without working is nothing new, and neither will be the take-down,” he tweeted.

As of now, it seems apocalyptic to see Ripple flipping Bitcoin, but the crypto world is very unpredictable. One thing to bear in mind – Bitcoin’s current market cap is 4.5X the cap of Ripple.

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