9 Oct, 2019

Anand Mahindra Joins the Club of Entrepreneurs Who Have Bashed Bitcoin

If we take a look at all the prominent business personalities who’re there on twitter, there are very few of them who attract the attention of masses. Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra Group, is one of them. When he speaks, people from many different fields pay attention. Surprisingly, yesterday he had something to say about cryptocurrencies. So he tweeted it out. However, it turned out that what he had to say was not something pleasant. Have a look yourself:

Good move. My friend Arjun Divecha,a renowned fund manager, had the best comment on cryptos: They’re like feathers in a storm; the gusts of wind blow them higher,but at some point they hit the ground. https://t.co/oS4gsK5wLQ

— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 23, 2019

Mr. Mahindra has a strong following of more than 7 million followers on Twitter, many of whom are his huge fans. Now, some of those fans are also involved in cryptos. And this time the tweet of Mr. Mahindra didn’t go down well with them. Reactions to his tweet were largely negative in nature, and here we’ll tell you about some of them.

Reactions from Indian crypto space

Mr. Mahindra’s tweet evoked responses from some of the most prominent people in the Indian cryptocurrency space. From CEOs of exchanges to cryptocurrency media portals, everybody who saw the tweet couldn’t hold himself back from responding. Zebpay CEO Ajit Khurana even went on to start a long thread that included several questions for Mr. Mahindra. Here are some of the reactions that came to Mr. Mahindra’s tweet from crypto community of India:

Why has the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) set up positive crypto standards & shared it with all the countries?

If it was all a bubble, don’t you think US, EU, Japan would have simply banned it? They’re holding discussions on how to positively regulate #IndiaWantsCrypto

— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) July 23, 2019

Warren Buffet once said he doesn’t invest in Tech. Now he’s holding in PayTM and Apple and many others. Fund Managers are always over confident about their knowledge. They are good at stocks, not everything.

— Kunal Barchha (@kunalbarchha) July 23, 2019

A feather floating for a decade now.

Also everything can hit the ground. Nothing is too big to fail.

— Naimish Sanghvi (@ThatNaimish) July 23, 2019

Presented without context. 🤐 pic.twitter.com/kWjncOhxvd

— Saurabh Gunjal (@SaurabhPGunjal) July 23, 2019

Sir, with all due respect… if similar good moves would have been taken in the field of banking too… there would be no Kotak Mahindra Bank today!

— Ashish Bhatnagar (@AshishOnl) July 24, 2019

And here’s the thread started by Zebpay CEO Ajeet Khurana on the subject:

Dear @anandmahindra, thanks for chiming in to the raging Crypto debate. A person of your repute and contribution has to be taken seriously. I have a few questions for you. I hope you will find the time to respond to them: https://t.co/eALForeNSH

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Mr. Khurana asked 9 pointed questions to Mr. Mahindra, and here they’re:

Q 2) You are calling a recommendation to “ban” a good move! Is it your opinion that anything that has the potential to cause harm should be banned without regard to its potential for a positive contribution? Do you extend this logic to other areas too?

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Q 4) You quote the “best comment” of a “renowned fund manager.” I assume that you have had the opportunity to read the best comments of other renowned fund managers around the world that are embracing crypto. Have you? Should I suggest some names?

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Q 6) Even if we were to be so limited as to merely think of cryptos as a speculative asset, are you of the opinion that risky asset classes should be banned? Banned? Banned? Does this opinion extend to other asset classes that “like feathers” “at some point hit the ground?”

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Q 8) I have to assume that you aware that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the G20 are taking positive steps to propose uniform crypto regulation, and NOT banning them? Why are you of the opinion that India should stay away from this?

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Q 9) I enjoy reading your tweets Anand Mahindra, and I learn from them. I have to assume that you are not nonchalantly brushing aside a paradigm that has 5-million Indians enthusiastically participating in it. Could you help me understand your banning-is-good position here?

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 23, 2019

Now let’s take a moment to understand why Mr. Mahindra tweeted something about Bitcoin for the first time, and why he had this sort of comment to made. And I feel that the answer lies in various businesses of Mahindra Group. They’re involved with two of the most prominent businesses in India’s financial sector: Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, which is a rural NBFC service provider, and Kotak Mahindra Bank, which is one of India’s largest private sector banks. While Mahindra Finance is managed and operated by them, in Kotak Mahindra Bank Mahindra Group was a shareholder till 2009. Anand Mahindra himself was a co-promoter of the bank till 2013, but he still sits on the board of the bank as a non-executive director. If we take these things into account, it becomes clear that he is on the same page where the bankers of other countries are.

On Blockchain

Another thing not surprising about his remarks on Blockchain is that just like our government, he too believes in the potential of blockchain technology but doesn’t want cryptos in the picture. Here’s how he responded to one of the tweets when asked about blockchain:

Am a huge believer in the power of blockchain. And Bitcoin introduced us to its potential which goes way beyond cryptos. However, until Governments exist, I am not confident of cryptos being storehouses of value… https://t.co/NmqqJ42bEc

— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 23, 2019

Tech Mahindra is already involved in blockchain, so this stance on the potential of blockchain technology is also not surprising. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are constantly pulling the attention of many bigwigs from the field of finance and politics. Whether they like it or not, cryptos are here to stay in the world!