Bitcoin P2P Trading Soars in India as New Exchange Launches

Bitcoin P2P Trading Volume Soars in India as New Exchange Launches

Bitcoin P2P trading volume in India has been growing rapidly, hitting record highs over the past weeks. Meanwhile, a new P2P trading platform has launched in India as the crypto industry awaits the government’s decision on a cryptocurrency law.

P2P Trading Volume Soars in India

Peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin trading in India has been hitting all-time highs over the past weeks. The growth accelerated after the country’s supreme court quashed the circular by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in March that banned banks from providing services to crypto exchanges.

According to Usefultulips, which combines data from two prominent P2P bitcoin marketplaces, Paxful and Localbitcoins, P2P bitcoin trading volume in India has consistently hit all-time highs since early June. For the week ending on Aug. 1, the trading volume was $4.40 million, an increase from $3.78 million. The site calculates the USD equivalent using bitcoin’s price derived from Cryptocompare’s Crypto Coin Aggregated Index.

P2P trading volume in INR (USD equivalent) by Usefultulips.

P2P bitcoin marketplace Paxful has been growing its operation in India where it has seen a significant increase in trading volume. For the week ending Aug. 1, a total of 226 BTC were traded on Paxful, which amounted to about 193 million rupees ($2.57 million), according to Coin.dance. The P2P trading volume in INR has been hitting record highs multiple weeks in a row on the platform. Paxful CEO Ray Youssef commented on the growth of P2P trading in India: “The Indian market holds great potential and importance for the future of the crypto-economy. People in India are betting big on bitcoin presenting an opportunity for greater financial returns.”

On competing P2P bitcoin trading marketplace Localbitcoins, 161 BTC were traded in the same week, amounting to about 136 million rupees. While the trading volume on Paxful has been rising, it has been declining on Localbitcoins.

Bitcoin P2P Trading Soars in India as New Exchange Launches

A new P2P exchange has just launched in India. Global cryptocurrency exchange Okex launched a new P2P platform in the country on Wednesday, “allowing Indian users to buy cryptocurrencies with Indian rupees (INR) with zero transaction fees,” the company announced. “The Okex P2P trading platform now offers bitcoin and USDT pairs for INR, with more coins becoming available soon.”

To celebrate the launch, the platform is giving away 30,000 USDT from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14. Other than INR, the Okex P2P trading platform also supports VND and CNY. Recently, the company jointly published a report with Coinpaprika stating that the global market share of crypto transactions in the Indian market is expected to “increase significantly in 2020-2022.”

Other global cryptocurrency exchanges have also been expanding their presence in India. Binance, which acquired local crypto exchange Wazirx last year, launched INR support on its P2P platform in April. Users can directly buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT, and BUSD with zero transaction fees, the exchange’s website details. Kucoin also has a P2P trading desk with zero fiat trading fees. The company says its P2P Fiat Trade platform supports 11 fiat currencies, including INR, and seven cryptocurrencies.

The crypto sector in India has been growing significantly amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis. The Indian government has been deliberating on a cryptocurrency bill submitted by an inter-ministerial committee headed by former Finance and Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. While there has not been a formal announcement from the government, there have been reports that the government may be going ahead with the proposal to ban cryptocurrency. However, crypto exchange CEOs have told news.Bitcoin.com that they believe a full ban is unlikely since much has transpired since the bill was submitted to the government early last year.

Without commenting on the ban rumor, a Paxful spokesperson told news.Bitcoin.com: “We are open to an opportunity to talk to the regulators and help showcase the various benefits that we’ve learned through the years that cryptocurrencies provide.”

What do you think about P2P bitcoin trading volumes hitting record highs in India? Let us know in the comments section below.

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SEC Looking to Buy a Blockchain Forensics Tool That Analyzes Smart Contracts

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking for a blockchain forensics tool to help it analyze smart contracts.

In a call for bids to software companies on July 30, the regulator said that the tool must be able to “analyze and detail code within blockchains and other distributed ledgers.”

It is also looking to identify contract changes performed with administrator passwords, in addition to issues like whitelisted and blacklisted addresses. It also wants to know how token sales funds are disbursed.

The SEC noted that the tool would support its efforts “to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with regard to digital assets.”

Firms have until August 13 to submit their proposals. Only companies classified as “small businesses” – those with a value of $30 million or under – are being considered for the tender, it said.

SEC’s desired analysis tool gives it ability to track the movement of crypto transactions more closely, particularly those contracts in the multi-billion-dollar decentralized finance (Defi) industry.

The Commission, which recently awarded a contract to blockchain analytics firm Ciphertrace for its crypto-tracking capabilities, is obviously aiming at becoming a better player in a digital asset industry where it has always been on the backfoot.

According to a notice published in July, the Ciphertrace deal is limited to blockchain forensics and intelligence targeting Binance’s native coin BNB and all the tokens on the Binance network.

The SEC has had running battles with several crypto companies that include Telegram. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have also proved to be a sore for the regulator.

What do you think about the SEC’s plans to tightly monitor crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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US Congressmen Want IRS to Balance Taxation and Innovation in the Cryptocurrency Space

US Congressmen Want IRS to Balance Taxation and Innovation in the Cryptocurrency Space

A bipartisan quartet of US congressmen wants the IRS taxation policy not to dissuade taxpayers from participating in blockchain token staking.

These politicians believe America’s ingenuity can help drive this promising staking technology.

The four congressmen are Bill Foster (D) of Illinois, Darren Soto (D) of Florida, Tom Emmer (R) of Minnesota, and David Schweikert (R) of Arizona.

In their letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the quartet expressed concern that the “taxation of staking rewards as income may overstate taxpayers’ actual gains from participating in this new technology.”

They add this could result “in a reporting and compliance nightmare, for taxpayers and the Service alike.”

The letter, in which the U.S. politicians explain their understanding of proof-of-stake (POS), also gives reasons why they favor POS ahead of bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus.

The politicians say in addition to needing “massive amounts of energy,” the Bitcoin network is “secured by a relatively small number of miners.” On the other hand, in POS, “all tokenholders can contribute to network security.”

By staking tokens, participating third-party tokenholders can also receive newly created tokens as rewards for helping to maintain the network.

The quartet says it agrees with the principle “that taxpayers’ true gains from these tokens should indeed be taxed.”

However, the politicians suggest a different solution:

Similar to all other forms of taxpayer-created (taxpayer-discovered) property — such as crops, minerals, livestock, artwork, and even widgets off the assembly line — these tokens could be taxed when they are sold.

Eager to keep the U.S. abreast with this technology, the congressmen end their letter by urging the IRS to continue pursuing its mandate “but also (to) ensure innovation won’t be driven elsewhere.”

This letter by the four members of Congress is the latest signal that the U.S. is moving to embrace blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

In July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) clarified that national banks and federal savings associations can provide cryptocurrency custody services for customers.

Also in the same month, a U.S. federal court ruled that bitcoin is a form of money.

Meanwhile, reacting to the letter by the U.S. congressmen, Tim Ismilyaev, CEO and founder at Mana Security, says the growth of POS has finally forced some people in the U.S. government to see the importance of embracing cryptocurrencies.

“The US government recognizes the immense growth of assets locked in POS and defi [decentralized finance] markets (over $15B is already locked in such products) although these markets did not exist a few years ago. The value of locked assets is likely to surpass $100B mark in upcoming years, and this will happen with or without US approval. So this move by Congress toward crypto is rational.”

The bipartisan letter was written on July 29.

What do you think of this letter? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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