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Indian Cryptocurrency Traders are 'Hold'ing on With Memes After Govt's Regulatory Bill

Photo shows Jethalal from Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma in jail. Screenshot from Twitter.

Photo shows Jethalal from Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma in jail. Screenshot from Twitter.

Memes saw an upward rise on Twitter as cryptocurrency prices crashed -- along with trading platforms like WazirX, CoinDCX experiencing heavy traffic and working slowly for many.

Cryptocurrency prices fell late last night, but the memes were on an upward tick. Bitcoin prices fell to their lowest rates since October 13, apparently in response to the central government’s decision to introduce a bill in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament to regulate cryptocurrency. All major digital currencies saw a fall of around 15 per cent and more, with Bitcoin down by around 18.53 per cent, Ethereum fell by 15.58 per cent, and Tether down by 18.29 per cent. According to data sourced from CoinDesk, a New York-based news site specialising in cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s value depreciated to $55,460.96 on Tuesday evening, an additional 20 per cent slump from the all-time high of nearly $69,000 that it reached earlier on in November.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, is among 26 bills listed for introduction in the Winter Session, beginning on November 29, according to the Lok Sabha website. This comes a week after a Parliamentary panel, chaired by BJP leader Jayant Sinha, discussed the pros and cons of crypto finance with various stakeholders, and an agreement was reached that digital currencies can’t be stopped but must be regulated.

The bill seeks to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India" but allows for “certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology and its uses". It also aims to “create a facilitative framework" for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the RBI. Following the announcement, memes saw an upward rise on Twitter as cryptocurrency prices crashed — along with trading platforms like WazirX, CoinDCX experiencing heavy traffic and working slowly for many.

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India has been taking a keen note on cryptocurrencies, thanks to its robust growth in the country amid a lack of regulations, but the government has been eager to bring in laws to regulate the digital currency sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week said cryptocurrencies must not fall into the “wrong hands and spoil our youth", urging all democratic nations to come together and ensure things like these do not happen. The government and the RBI had recently hinted about floating a strong regulatory control on cryptocurrency to avoid money laundering and terror financing, rather than banning it entirely.

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first published:November 24, 2021, 10:46 IST