On May 23, a famous news outlet Bloomberg Quint published an article with title “India Mulls GST On Trading Of Virtual Currencies”. Pretty soon the rest of the mainstream media channels picked it up, and published their own versions of the story.
At Coin Crunch India, we decided to call it a bad move and published an article titled “Gaon Basa nahi aur aa gaye lutere” without any harsh opinions.
However, the way the media has picked the news up and spread it like a virus, I think it is time to share my views on it.
Here’s are my opinions on why should completely ignore the article and news about GST on Crypto.
Opinion 1: Unnamed Sources aren’t always correct or ethical
The Bloomberg Quint article is based on “Anonymous sources with Direct information”. How many anonymous sources do you think provide legitimate information? A different question, how many anonymous sources provide legitimate information, that come true?
Check out this quote from a Dome Magazine article on fake news. It was said by George Friedman, a political scientist
The problem with unnamed and unknown sources is that they are unknown.The public has absolutely no way to evaluate their credibility.The only clue we have is the reliability of the reporters involved and of the media outlets that carry their stories and, in some cases, this is simply not enough.
I am not discrediting unnamed sources, I am just saying the government may be smart enough to get their message out without dirtying their hands. Ask yourself this? Won’t you be discouraged to trade after knowing you have to pay GST on it? Well, it works out well for the government as government cannot really ban a global asset fully but they can always use tactics to discourage trading.
And how many times have we seen it happening and that too at Bloomberg Quint itself?
Here’s a title of another article that is based entirely on an anonymous officer’s tip – Indian Enforcement Agencies Seek Trading Ban On Virtual Currencies, and this was written by the same author.
Opinion 2: Negative News attract more eyes
It is a legitimate fact that our brains will focus on Negative news more than positive news. The part of our brain that reacts emotionally to all information we receive is called the Amygdala. The basic human instinct is survival. A negative information is in many ways a danger to our survival. Atleast this is what the Amygdala thinks.
Hence, out of thousands of headlines you come across everyday, the most that catch your attention are negative. Mainstream media feeds on this psychology to get more viewership, to keep readers glued to their pages reducing the bounce rates of their website. This is the dirty truth.
While many major news channels do that, I want to focus on BQ, here’s what Bloomberg headlines on cryptocurrency in India have looked like:
- BQ Explains: End Of The Road For Bitcoin In India?
- India Says Bitcoin As Risky As Ponzi Schemes
- India’s central bank virtually bans cryptocurrency
Now, I would agree that some negative news are really true and that is why the negative headline. But google “Bloomberg Quint bitcoin india” and you will not find a single positive headline about cryptocurrency.
The Bitcoin tag on BQ shows no positive featured headline and only four in the second list out of ten. Three of them are on price. That’s it. Where is Lightning network? Where is adoption into payment systems? No article on Twitter CEO’s remark?
If you’re feeling adventures, search for Cryptocurrency on BQ website and you will find a few positive and a lot of negative articles about crypto – My favourite headline is “This Cryptocurrency Billionaire Is Trying to Split California Into Three States”, the news has nothing to do with cryptocurrency and has the word ‘cryptocurrency’ used once in the entire article.
Opinion 3: Even the positive debates are headlined Negative/Neutral
Yet another Bloomberg Quint article with headline “Experts Want India To Take A Clear View On The Virtual Currency Debate” caught my eye.
This first line of the first answer of the first question asked to the expert is “I think clamping down is not a solution”.
Whats more? I tried to find the words ‘Clear View’ in the whole article and found them just once – in the title/headline.
Another one where the title is now changed – Bitcoin Rebounds Above $15,000 as Investors Find a Bottom, For now.
Opinion 4: If it hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it will happen
Many governments and news agencies say they will do one thing or another, but not everything comes true. A committee was supposed to design the framework for regulation of cryptocurrency, instead we are seeing the banking authority choking the oxygen supply (banking service) to the exchanges.
And we are seeing rumours of a complete ban on crypto or 18% GST on it because its not currency its an asset.
Remember one thing, unless an official body publishes a press release, everything is speculative. Focus on what has been announced and not what can be announced.
I am going to reserve my opinions on the practicality of taxation on cryptocurrency until I can concur them with some experts. Until then I want to share this message and I want you to share this message with everyone. DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ.
There are share links above and below the article, use them to spread the word. Let me know in the comments below what you think about taxation on cryptocurrency.