Keeping in tune with the rising interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrecencies, Smile-expo, a Bengaluru-based company organized Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference 2018 on Thursday.
The event comprised of eminent speakers and budding blockchain-based start-ups that talked about the scenario of virtual currencies in India and abroad. Some of these speakers included Arnab Naskar, the CEO of SICOS who talked about ICO regulations in European Union and Switzerland.
He was followed by Nappinai NS, an advocate with Bombay High Court who talked about legislation and ICO in India. She talked about the recent news where the Centre decided to pass a Bill that would render all chit funds and unregulated deposits as illegal.
She said, “Cryptocurrencies are not backed by a government or a government trust. Since 2013, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released statements cautioning investors and users against investing in virtual currencies. For the past few years, they have been considering ‘banning’ it but they haven’t so far. ”
On being asked why the Bill could not specifically mention virtual currencies, she told Crypto-News, “It was not just meant for virtual currencies. It was a catch-all for all kinds of unregulated deposits and illegal chit funds. There is a popular adage that says, keep your friends close and enemies closer. If the Indian government does consider crypto as their enemy, then they should learn to keep a close watch on it without banning it.”
Although a number of designated speakers did not turn up at the event, there were more than enough speakers to fill the void. Anirudh Rastogi, Managing Partner at TRA opined that, “Lately, banks are sending warnings and not facilitating deposit and withdrawals of cryptocurrencies through debit and credit cards. Banks were allegedly informally informed by the RBI to not let payments to go through. This is primarily my issue. If you want to ban it or regulate it, make it clear through official channels. Don’t spread rumours that could lead to FUD.”
The event also had a number of promising start-ups that had set up stalls outside the conference halls. The representatives made a pitch about their product, their upcoming ICOs and how the token would be broken down in the pre-sale.
The pitch was followed by a panel discussion on the pros and cons of how ICO could lead blockchain innovation and challenges associated to it.
(The panel discussion in progress)
The main attraction of the conference were the upcoming international projects and the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that would soon take place. Apart from that, there were several discussions on blockchain use-cases and how blockchain could revolutionize technology as we see it.
The event ended on a high note with the moderator stating that blockchain would soon be an inseparable part of India and world-wide.
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