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Crypto Wrap: All that transpired in the cryptocurrency space this week

Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman announced that the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will be presented in parliament in the upcoming monsoon session

July 11, 2021 / 07:31 AM IST
 (Image: Shutterstock)

(Image: Shutterstock)

From all major cryptocurrencies swamped in red to popular sports championships inking deals with crypto platforms, we bring you a thorough weekly rundown of all the action that happened in the crypto world this week.

Indian Cryptocurrency Bill to see the light of the day

Amidst much trials and tribulations surrounding crypto regulation in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman announced that the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will be presented in parliament in the upcoming monsoon session, which is set to start on 19th July. 

Having called for an extremely calibrated approach on crypto and digital currency in her earlier statements, Seetharaman mentioned that considerable stakeholder input had been taken while preparing the document and the cabinet note. Per the government, the bill aims to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

The bill will be significant for many in the country, who’ve taken to investing and trading in cryptocurrency. An Analytics Insight report suggests that the country has invested almost Rs 49,189 crores in the cryptocurrency space till May 2021, a 6,660 percent rise from the 92.3 crores till April 2020. This will also be crucial, deciding parameter for cryptocurrency exchanges like CoinBase, which are actively looking to expand Indian operations. 

GrayScale Bitcoin Trust gears up for mega unloading

With the world’s largest bitcoin fund nearing a lockup deadline, the GrayScale Bitcoin Trust (GTBC) is expected to unload nearly 40,000 bitcoins worth of its shares in the market during the course of this month. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are looking forward to 17th July, when almost 16,000 bitcoins worth of shares will be unlocked. Experts predict a steep downward fall in bitcoin prices, given that nearly 5 percent of the fund can potentially be sold within the next 2-3 weeks. 


For the unversed, GTBC allows investors to trade in shares of trusts that, in turn, hold large swathes of bitcoin. Think of it as an ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund), but for bitcoins. As of April 2021, GTBC held almost 6,50,000 bitcoin, representing 46 percent of the total bitcoin held by public companies, which stands at 1.4 million BTC. The company holds 0.00095 Bitcoin per share. 

Markets in Red

The markets have been low for a while now, and this week seemed no different. Bitcoin, currently at 33, 358 dollars, slumped almost 4 percent over the last week. Ethereum fell over 5 percent to trade at almost 2,000 dollars. Elon Musk endorsed Dogecoin, however, suffered a 14 percent fall over the week and is currently priced at 0.2 dollars. The only alternative currency to show up in green was the Binance coin at 312 dollars, up by 14 percent over the last 7 days. 

Bitcoin “King” in shackles

Claudio Oliveira, who heads the Brazil-based Bitcoin Banco group, has been arrested for allegedly frauding about 300 million dollars, or 1.5 billion Brazillian reals through a cryptocurrency scheme. The crypto brokerage had applied for a fraudulent judicial recovery of 700 missing bitcoins in 2019. But with its increasing instances of non-compliance with the reorganization and irregular, inconsistent dealings with thousands of its customers, the company’s embezzlement came to light. 

NFTs soar high

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are seeing solid investor interest in recent times, with over 2.5 billion dollars of NFT sales reported for the first half of 2021. As compared to the same period last year, sales are up by more than 13 million dollars, and transaction volumes have risen as high as 25 percent since December 2020. Auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have also upped their cryptocurrency game, with the former offering a 101.38 carat, pear-shaped diamond for sale via cryptocurrency. The rarity was ultimately sold off at 12.3 million dollars. 

Crypto-Sports sponsorship on cardsPopular cryptocurrency platform struck two major, multi-million dollar deals with wrestling tournament UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and racing magnum opus Formula 1. The deal, sealed at almost 175 million dollars for UFC and 100 million dollars for Formula 1 signifies growing partnerships between sports and cryptocurrencies. Football fans would have hardly missed WazirX promotions during the UEFA Euro 2020 championship. In fact, the upcoming India vs Sri Lanka 20-over series has also been renamed the CoinDCX T20 Cup.
Ira Puranik

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