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BW Businessworld

Virtual Currency To Gain Currency?

In this issue of BW Businessworld, We have talked about cryptocurrencies and how the web spawned by them has given rise to dilemmas and legal and ethical questions

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In this season of data leaks and breaches, Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg assures us that he will ensure fair polls in India’s upcoming election season. If some think that’s a tall claim to make, wait. Zuckerberg believes that his own personal data was leaked along with that of 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica.

If Zuckerberg’s deposition before the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee makes for a fascinating story, we at BW Businessworld talk about an equally fascinating and intriguing development that has gripped the world, including India.

We are talking of cryptocurrencies and how the web spawned by them has given rise to dilemmas and legal and ethical questions. In his Union Budget Speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had warned against cryptocurrencies, saying they are not legal tender. Going a step further, the RBI on April 6 directed banks not to entertain virtual currencies. The question, then, to be asked is this — does this sound the deathknell for cryptocurrencies in India?

Correspondents Anurit Kanti and Avishek Banerjee talk to domain experts and players and arrive at interesting conclusions.

Meanwhile, an interesting thread that has emerged from the crackdown on cryptocurrencies is that the central bank itself could well launch its own digital currency in the next six to twelve months.

This is one issue that has kept the people curious, and our first cover story answers some of the questions that have been bothering the players and the ecosystem alike.

The past few weeks have not been particularly good for the Indian banking sector, which has been dogged by CEO stints getting cut short, corruption charges and the issue of bad loans. As a result, some of the banking leaders may soon be retiring. But who would be their successors? This is one question that has rarely been discussed or addressed. Succession is rarely planned or discussed. This is one big dilemma that the entire sector is faced with. Senior Associate Editor Mahua Venkatesh captures this in the second cover story which raises the question — who would be their successors, if the bank CEOs were to retire?

Another topical story this week was the DefExpo that concluded in Chennai. Associate Editor Manish Jha raises a few pertinent questions on the Defence Production Policy 2018, and how the various loose ends should be tied, so as to boost the entire ecosystem, including the private players. This is our third cover this issue.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes his much-awaited visit to the UK, Jha does a reality check: whether or not Modi’s overseas visits — and, he’s a frequent flier on these routes — have benefitted India? Do check out this interesting story.

This issue also carries a detailed interview with Union Ayush Minister Shripad Naik who tells Deputy Editor Suman K. Jha that he wants the world to experience the Indian traditional forms of medicine.

All in all a highly readable issue.

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