History is being written in India and we, as writers and journalists, have the responsibility to document this.
On July 25, 2019, after a year of looming uncertainty, the bill is finally known and the crypto industry is desperately trying to reason with the government in a one-sided conversation.
This article is to document who spoke, who did not speak, and who spoke out of ignorance.
What is the government doing?
This video is the complete representation of what the government has done. The BJP MP from Karnataka Mr. Shivkumar Udasi, said he is in favour of the proposed crypto ban while trying laughably to explain what Bitcoin is, what “Dark Net” and that 95% of the internet is “Dark Net” and Bitcoin is only used “in” “Dark Net”. He also says Bitcoin is ponzi.
None of these things are true and truly shows the lack of knowledge of babus, sitting in the government.
Government has (I club the Garg committee and everyone involved in it):
Not studied cryptocurrencies at all, at least not the way it should have. If they cannot understand the difference between a public and a private blockchain or segregate assets, securities, and utilities – a template that every developed country in the world is following, it can be safely concluded that they do not know what they are doing.
Facts stated in the Garg committee report:
- About Bitcoin being a private cryptocurrency) is wrong. Can find many flaws based on facts and not opinions.
- Recommends 10 years jail for holding crypto, which is more than the sentence for rape.
- Has no details of how the law will be implemented or any detail about how the government plans to take any step in direction of banning a decentralized asset like Bitcoin.
- Proposes Digital Rupee with no details whether it will be collateralised or hosted on nodes (I would expect to be able to host a node for Digital Rupee as a citizen). Otherwise, it is just a number stored on a server that is as secure as bank servers.
Facts shared in this video are wrong:
Crypto market cap is over $270 Billion today. Bitcoin’s market cap itself is over $180 Billion. He mentions the market is worth $120 billion
The video is specifically outrageous because it gives a glimpse of how they treat a revolution like cryptocurrencies. Quote:
“Cryptocurrencies, we all know how they work [laughter]”.Karnataka BJP MP Shivkumar Udasi
I doubt these guys have talked to anyone knowledgable about crypto. The person speaking had to beg for two minutes to talk about Crypto, whereas in the US, we see senators spending hours having nuanced discussions about crypto and Bitcoin.
The gentleman counts 2116 “types” of cryptocurrencies. I don’t know where he got this number from. Coinmarketcap, as of today, lists 2380 cryptocurrencies and there are way more cryptocurrencies estimated. Also, all of these are not “types” of cryptocurrencies. The types, as classified by regulators across the world, are only three – assets, securities, and utilities.
- IAMAI is silent. Not even one tweet after the bill was released. We do not even know if the “blockchain” committee is functional or not
- Nasscom has not made its stand clear
- No VC or investor group has made their stand clear.
- No tech / startup CEO has voiced their opinion for or against this technology.
- No startup media has cared to provide a platform for crypto community’s voices.
- Anand Mahindra tweeted in an ignorant fashion and then never responded to many requests for explanation and discussions by crypto enthusiasts. Let history record that he called banning a “good move”. Let history judge him.
What is industry doing?
- Many left the country. Exchanges, crypto projects like Matic, developers who want to keep working in a certain environment.
- Many are still fighting.
- Some still have hope that the government will see reason.
If you want any tweet, video, quote or name to be recorded in the history, please comment below (at the bottom). We will make a huge list of people who are rooting for a horse carriage when the future is cars.
These are all facts. We are not even talking about opinions about how they plan to use blockchain with crypto, how they will differentiate utility tokens from airline miles or Starbucks points, how they will trace Bitcoin to an identity, how they will stop international decentralised exchanges to allow trading in India without KYC, and a hundred such technical questions that they are yet to even contemplate.
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