Digital Currency Weekly Recap 11-27-2016
Digvijaya Singh: Terrorists Use Bitcoin; Demonetization Won’t Work
Indian politician Digvijaya Singh this week criticized the nation’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for the latter’s commitment to demonetization. Singh noted that terrorists can actually use digital currencies like Bitcoin, and that means that Modi’s war on cash cannot prevent terror groups from funding their activities. According to him, the demonetization campaign is likely to accomplish nothing beyond creating more pain and hardship for India’s poorest citizens.
Singh, a member of India’s Rajya Sabha – the upper house of India’s Parliament, offered his criticism in a press conference several days ago in which he suggested that officials involved in the demonetization effort failed to fully grasp the issue of terrorist financing." During the press conference, he asked a question that has been on the minds of many observers: “Can the Prime Minister, Government of India and particularly the NSA be so naive to believe, that terrorism can be erased by simply demonetization?” He also reminded reporters that the army had recently discovered a large cache of new large-denomination notes that were “found in possession of certain terrorists in Kashmir Valley. From where did they get the currency notes when even the common people are not getting them?"
Meanwhile, Indian Finance Minister Calls for More Digital Money
India’s government continues to push demonetization efforts despite growing criticism from many in the country. On Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified the government’s position on physical currency when he said that the goal was to replace the nation’s physical currency with digital money. According to Jaitley, the government has decided to actively promote digital wallets and fund transfers, and is asking for active contribution from state governments. The ultimate goal is apparently a cashless society, and the government has dedicated public money to fund electronic currency infrastructure, awareness, and acceptance.
Uquid Facilitates Altcoin Use on Visa Network
For altcoin users who have found the many Bitcoin debit cards on the market to be useless for their digital currency spending needs, Uquid may have the solution. The company’s new Visa debit card enables users to load their cards and spend digital currencies like Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, Steem, and roughly three dozen other altcoins. The card can be used for everything from bill payments to airline tickets, and requires no credit check or identification verification. Altcoins are deposited into the user’s Uquid account, where the digital currency is automatically converted into either USD, GBP, or EUR. Users can opt for a plastic card or a virtual card.
House Ag Committee Calls on CFTC to Focus on Digital Currency Regulations Now
Texas Republican Mike Conaway has reportedly sent a letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Timothy Massad that calls for regulators to focus on cryptocurrency regulation in the waning days of the Obama administration. The letter cites concerns that regulatory agencies could try to push through controversial rules over the next two months, and suggests that they instead prioritize enforcement of existing regulations and fulfill their market watchdog role. Conaway’s call for more emphasis on creating sound regulations for digital currency suggested that such actions could help the nascent technology:
“Among the many housekeeping actions the Commission could undertake would be to provide additional clarity about the regulation of digital currencies. Providing the public with more certainty will help strengthen this new technology and protect the participants of these emerging markets."