Why we are obsessed with money

What a way to exist!

For most of us, practically the whole day all we are thinking is about money and more specifically how to have more money!

As if money was the only thing in life. Unfortunately for most of us, circumstances just do not permit any other thought!

We are running behind money most of the time which is almost akin to have become obsessed with money. Everything that we are doing in life is centred around money.

Unfortunately, this is because we need money for anything and everything that we do. There’s nothing wrong and what are you doing, however the problem is that over time, it becomes a compulsive habit to keep earning more.

That’s where the danger is. The problem is that there is a point where from we chase money as an addiction, we chase money because we like to do so. If we did not chase money we would not know what to chase now because we get out identity from money and the amount of money we have.

Another thing is that right from childhood we are always taught and our minds are conditioned that everything that we are doing is going to be for the sake of earning money.

There is no one who told you that money is just a means, and then there is something greater in life to achieve. Some examples are legacy; building something, charity; to giving something / helping someone, passion; pursuing something and living; simply to enjoy life and your money

We have got addicted to this and how!

There are three reasons for this:

First, we are what we do. It is the human behaviour. I know I should exercise and I don’t. I know I should eat healthy and I don’t. I know I should spend time with my kids and I don’t. I know that, yes, money isn’t going to make me happy and I still keep trying to make money.

We live by the laws of inertia, in a pattern which is hard to break. But we have to break it. For ourselves and for the sake of people and reasons for which we are chasing money.

Secondly, we need signals of progress. Money is a measure of how far you have progressed in life. The more the money you have the more you can make sure your progress. It’s simply the logic of evolution. People need validation of their success. Bigger house, bigger car, branded goods and list goes on.

Thirdly, it’s the easy way out. It’s only human to avoid difficult things. Important things are very difficult to measure.  Have I been a good father or husband? Have I groomed my child well?  Such things take years to measure and we still don’t have answers.

So, should we not be focused on creating money for ourselves?

I’m not saying that. Definitely create. Take care of yourself for sure!! Use it to the maximum to make yourself happy!!! You need a certain amount and beyond that is extra.

The definition of their certain amount is naturally different from one person to another. If that extra is going to happen easily, without stress and without your involvement, then its fine. Basically don’t kill yourself for that extra. Be Smart.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a certified financial planner, wealth manager and financial freedom coach.

How the RBI actually helps you

RBI

Most of us in Mumbai, see this huge structure called the Reserve Bank of India and wonder what it really does. It’s also a tourist attraction!! It has so many other offices and again one wonders why they need to have so many offices. I’m going to try and highlight a very interesting part of RBI’s work and how it helps us directly on a day-to-day basis.

The RBI does a review of the monetary policy of the country at frequent intervals during the year. So how does the monetary policy help us investors to take smart decisions?

Monetary policy is a tool by which the RBI decides to raise interest rates or reduce interest rates or keep them steady.

In our country, as we’re an oil importing nation, this decision is very closely linked to Oil. Oil to a large extent contributes to inflation. We all know what happens when inflation keeps rising. We in India unfortunately do not see too much of inflation falling and things becoming cheaper.

Oil is Not Well

So when oil prices rise i.e. we see a rise in crude oil prices almost instantly we can expect rising food prices. This is because there is going to be a rising cost pressure for manufacturing & services. This rise obviously gets passed onto the retail consumers.

When this happens RBI adopts a hawkish stance, tries to pull money out of the system by raising interest rates. Now when interest rates rise no one seems to be interested in borrowing. This immediately puts a brakes on money circulation.  Less money chasing goods decreases the demand for money. This way it controls inflation.

There is yet another tool that the RBI has and that is known as the CRR or the cash reserve ratio.  This ratio in simple words means the amount of cash that the bank must maintain with the RBI as the percentage of the total assets. So when this increases banks are forced to park more with the RBI and this is also a way to control inflation.

On the other hand when things look dull, when there is a recession of sorts, the RBI comes to the rescue and gets into action to kickstart growth in the country. It does this by lowering the interest rates. This we all will understand quite easily because we see a direct benefit of this happening. We see a fall of interest outgo in our EMI’s for the home loan that we are carrying. New loans become cheaper.

Individuals are motivated to go out and make purchases, whether it is for a washing machine or a piece of real estate. Businesses are motivated to go out and borrow to buy more machinery, to expand capacity, to hire more staff and manpower and basically do everything that will add to the growth of business.

Economic growth results as a result of all this. It is also during this time that stock market rises, we see a rally in stock prices and mutual fund NAV’s jumping higher and higher each day. There is prosperity all around.

Critical Role

As you can see that the central bank of the country has a very very important role to play.  If it makes a mistake, things can go really wrong.  Imagine like the USA or Japan if our interest rates were very low; everyone would run to borrow, they would borrow more than they require because it would be cheap and easy to borrow. And that is very individuals would run into what is known as the debt trap, because someday you’ll have to pay back.

Each day the central bank attempts to make sure that everything in our country remains stable and financially there’s nothing that goes wrong dramatically.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

The year of the bond, once again!

We are not talking of James Bond, we are talking of investment bonds.

We are in a situation where the fixed deposit rates are at a general low and there is a lot of discontent among depositors of fixed deposits.

Whenever we see a situation like this, one way or the other, the bond markets come to the rescue. It comes to the rescue of smart depositors, who are agile to move their money from fixed deposits to bond funds.

Let’s understand what is happening and why.

What Exactly is Happening in the Bond Markets?

It is likely that in this year, investors of bond funds will make handsome gains. Bond prices may rise and there may be capital gains. Investors of bond funds not only earn the rate of interest, but also earn capital gains. So that way, they make more than the return they would make on fixed deposits. The returns could be a high single digit or sometimes as high as double digits.

Over three years, this will become practically tax free or the tax would be a very small amount. So, basically, I am thinking that a rally will happen in the bond market. There are three main reasons for this — reduction in government borrowing (which is favourable), recovery of trading losses (which is favourable) and no change in monetary policy (which is neutral).

A word of caution, however, that such bond market investments are also subject to bond-market volatility and should be considered ideally with the help of a financial expert.

Before proceeding further, let us, therefore, quickly explain a bond, bond fund and bond market. We need to do this because few people understand the bond markets and even fewer invest in the bond markets.

Bond is nothing, but a commercial transaction where the borrower is issuing a bond to the lender and the lender will earn a certain rate of interest. When interest rates fall, everyone becomes interested in owning that bond.

As a result, the demand for the bond increases, the price of the bond increases and the bondholder makes capital gains.

A bond fund is a fund where ordinary investors pool in their money and a fund manager buys them a portfolio of bonds.

Moving onto the Reasons For a Rally in Bond Funds…

Now, the fundamental reason for a rally is reduction in interest rates as it stimulates economy and growth.

Firstly, the government is a massive borrower of funds. So a reduction in government borrowing reduces the demand for money in the economy. As a result, prices of bonds rise and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that the commercial banks and RBI, which are the largest lenders to the government, will have another year to offset losses they have incurred on account of buying government bonds in the past. This action will lead to a rise in the price of bonds and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Lastly, on one side due to the rise in oil prices, there is more inflation and thus more money is needed for circulation in the economy. On the other side, many government bonds are maturing, which will provide money supply. So, it is likely that we see a neutralising effect and thus RBI will take no action. This inaction here will support capital gains as explained above. Hence, this year might be a year of good gains for the bond investors.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Five new financial goals for you this summer

I am going to try and explain to you why the summer holidays of April and May are great months to get a lot of things started, financially speaking.

This time period in a way resets the financial clock. You also have the option to hit the reset button on everything you have done so far; financially speaking of course and hope to do better things better than you did last year.

Let’s look at some of the new and unusual things to do in April.

  • Make a learning budget

Learn something about money or anything you like. The best way to make money is to learn something about money. Just like if you wanted to learn cooking you will get into the cooking class. If you wanted to learn swimming you would enrol in the swimming class. If you find learning about money is too daunting task than learn something which is close at to your heart or related to your work. If you learn something new, there’s a possibility that you will use your new ideas to generate new income and in turn that will generate new wealth for you.  So make a budget, enrol somewhere and spend that budget. How about a % of your annual income? Spend it for sure!

  • Plan a unique holiday 

When you’re by yourself and without your mobile phone you will have the opportunity to think! When you have time to think, suddenly good ideas will come to your mind.  You may think this is silly but you can be sure that you will be amazed if your drivers experiment just once. So it might be a good idea to go for a holiday just by yourself. If you find that too intimidating, join a group of strangers. You can combine that with the adventures experience if you like.  Be extra careful if you’re going with your special buddies. Do this only if they are going to be in a position to help you discuss your idea and make it bigger. They must play the role of complimenting your thoughts. So make a schedule to do this holiday and obviously make a budget to make it happen. Think & create new ways of making wealth.

  • Make a prediction and make it happen

Be brave. Let’s aim to grow and multiply net worth by 50% by the time you come to the end of this financial year. This is not a joke and it is easier than you can imagine.  I’m speaking about NETWORTH and I’m not talking about return on investment. If your networth is Rs. 100 today, all I’m saying is that let’s aim to make this a 150 by the end of this year. This networth comprises of all your savings till date. This can be achieved by simply saving aggressively every month for the next twelve months. Just put this into a recurring deposit or liquid fund so you don’t spend it.  We just have to prove to ourselves that this is possible. Where and how we will invest this money will think about that later.

  • Eliminate a negative belief 

I want to give you an exercise here. Write down all your negative beliefs you have about money and wealth. Most people are not able to achieve the desired level of wealth because they think about wealth negatively. So even if you are earning a good amount of income you will never see yourself becoming wealthy. Examples are money causes problems, money causes a fight, managing money is complicated etc. Then for each negative thought, you have written down the positives i.e. the opposite for a few months. Soon negatively biased feelings will evaporate.

  • Make a new investment; something you have not done before

Again here you do not have to be a financial expert. The idea is to learn something new. There are hundreds of investment options. Our objective here is to learn something new. Talk to your advisor and seek his or her guidance. Just a word of caution here; don’t do anything which is speculative or is something that you just can’t understand. Do what do find easy you understand and do that then.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Seeking financial freedom? The time is NOW!

John Lewis famously remarked, “If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” This is so appropriate in the current financial world that we live in.

That statement will leave to rest every other argument that is conservative and against the idea of wealth creation. We are often faced with the situation where there is no option but to create wealth. Read on to know why!

Interest rates are painfully low. For all those diehard fans of guaranteed investment returns, there’s hardly any place to go to. Thinking of fixed deposits? Feeling happy with 7%? And fully taxable? That period is over. Period.

That doctrine of investing into pure fixed deposits and similar instruments is unfortunately standing challenged. There is no option but to sprinkle it with a combination of a little something that will add to the returns earned from fixed income type of securities. In fact this category of investors are in a way, best placed in terms of the current tax laws.

They can earn about 9-10% with minimal or near zero tax over about five years and more. Starting to generate rate of return above the inflation level of 7% is starting to create wealth. So there it is; there is no option but to move in the direction of creating wealth.

For more evolved investors, who invest in equities and who and still sitting on the sidelines tend to run out of patience every now and then. They are sometimes waiting for the right time, sometimes waiting for correction, sometimes waiting for valuation and sometimes waiting for just nothing. Sometimes, just too busy to take action!

I totally understand not wanting to lose hard-earned money. But if the money does not move it will stagnate. That’s the problem with money.

Hit the Ground Running

Inaction and inactivity kills it. Makes it costly to hold. Makes us lose opportunities, sometimes small and sometimes significant. I know of many people including my dad, who just kept investing into equities and holding forever. No doubt they were hugely (big HUGELY) better off then the people in the same time zone. I think they could have done far better with some smart lessons on asset allocation. This is because if they compare the growth rate of their holding over a period of 20 or maybe 30 years the compounded rate of return earned is often not impressive.

It is just marginally better or a few percentage points above the fixed deposit rate. Hence the need for asset allocation, which simply put is not to have all eggs in one basket at any given point in time. These sections of investors anyways create wealth, and, asset allocation is the tool that ensures that the process of wealth creation continues uninterrupted. So again there it is; even for this section there is not option but to start enhancing their wealth creation activities, else returns will continue to remain forever mediocre.

Then there are skeptics and there is nothing much for skeptics of everything, except that they need a serious dose of financial education. Perhaps what if needed is a proof of concept and for that, which better country to live in other than India where financial transparency in investments is so high that I sometimes feel, it comes from another planet.

 Your Money Needs Action

Today, there is a whole lot of variety to choose from and we have never been more spoilt for choice. But the most important thing in all this is to understand that your money needs action. It needs activity and for that the time is now!

And furthermore, if you asked me this question 10 years ago; I would have said that, the Time is NOW. If you ask this question 10 years hence, I will still say the Time is NOW. Any time is the right time to start the process of creating wealth. All that is important is that you take your first step; then continue it all the way with zeal and determination… till you have the level of wealth that you desire. And if you accumulate more than you need, still do it and share it with the world.

If you want your financial freedom; then the Time is NOW!

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager and Financial Freedom Coach.

Young Turks: Here’s the success story of venture fund Aspada

Venture fund Aspada was co-founded by Kartik Srivatsa and Thomas Hyland in 2012 and has made 17 investments so far across Fin-tech, agriculture, health and edu-tech startups.

Young Turks takes a look at their investment thesis, their differentiated VC model and meet three of their portfolio companies – Capital Float that underwrites unsecured loans to startups and SMEs; Dunzo, a hyper local concierge and delivery player that is also Google’s first direct startup investment in India; WayCool, a Chennai-based agriculture-tech startup.

Twitter prohibits sharing of personal photos, videos without consent

Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it will not allow sharing of personal media such as photos and videos on its platform without the consent of the person.

The social media company’s privacy policy already prohibits sharing of other people’s private information such as phone numbers, addresses and IDs.

“When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it,” Twitter said in a blog post.

The microblogging site’s co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as the chief executive of the company on Monday, handing over reins to its technology chief Parag Agrawal.

Hi Fly 801 becomes first Airbus A340 plane to land in Antarctica

For the first time in history, an Airbus A340 plane, Hi Fly 801, has landed on Antarctica. Hi Fly is a boutique aviation company. The plane took off from Cape Town, South Africa, on November 2.

The 3,000-metre long blue-ice runway is a designated c-level airport. Despite not being an airport due to the weather conditions Antarctica has 50 landing strips & runways, but no airports.

Watch the video for more.

The Medicine Box: What is Omicron?

Omicron has been declared a ‘Variant of Concern’ by World Health Organization (WHO). Various countries have imposed travel curbs on those arriving from African nations to curb the spread.

Watch The Medicine Box with Ekta Batra to know more.

Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni retained ahead of IPL mega auction

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have retained their former captain Virat Kohli, while Mumbai Indians predictably retained India’s T20 captain Rohit Sharma and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah ahead of the IPL mega auction. India’s greatest white ball skipper and Chennai Super Kings talisman Mahendra Singh Dhoni is his team’s second retention behind all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, while Ruturaj Gaikwad is the fourth name on the list. Moeen Ali has also been retained by CSK.

Among the major names to be released are out-of-form all-rounder Hardik Pandya and dashing keeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, who have been a part of the Mumbai Indians’ core, and RCB’s leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Purple Cap-winner Harshal Patel.

The Punjab Kings released last year’s skipper K.L. Rahul while retaining Mayank Agarwal and the uncapped Arshdeep Singh.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad retained captain Kane Williamson as their number one player and released star spinner Rashid Khan. “If a player wants to be in the auction because of the price, we respect his decision. We will try and match him and see if we can pick him in the auction for the right price,” said SRH CEO K Shanmugam, explaining why they had to let go of Rashid.

Full list of retained players (price in INR):

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (16 crore), Jasprit Bumrah (12 crore), Suryakumar Yadav (8 crore) & Kieron Pollard (6 crore).

Chennai Super Kings: Ravindra Jadeja (16 crore), M.S. Dhoni (12 crore), Moeen Ali (8 crore) & Ruturaj Gaikwad (6 crore).

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (15 crore), Glenn Maxwell (11 crore) & Mohammed Siraj (7 crore).

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (12 crore; 14 crore to be deducted from overall purse) & Arshdeep Singh (4 crore).

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (14 crore), Abdul Samad (4 crore) & Umran Malik (4 crore).

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (14 crore), Jos Buttler (10 crore) & Yashasvi Jaiswal (4 crore).

Kolkata Knight Riders: Andre Russell (12 crore; 16 crore to be deducted from purse), Varun Chakravarthy (8 crore; 12 crore to be deducted from purse),  Venkatesh Iyer (8 crore) & Sunil Narine (6 crore).

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (16 crore), Axar Patel (9 crore; 12 crore to be deducted from purse), Prithvi Shaw (7.5 crore, 8 crore to be deducted from purse) & Anrich Nortje (6.5 crore).

Cyclone alert issued in coastal area of Odisha, fishermen warned

With the IMD sounding an alert of a possible cyclone hitting the coastal area of Odisha on December 4, the Regional Meteorological Centre on Tuesday asked fishermen out in the sea to return by December 2 morning and the state government instructed the district collectors to remain prepared to face any eventuality.

In neighbouring West Bengal, fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea from December 3 to 5. Keeping in view the IMD’s forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall due to the possible cyclone, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena has asked the district collectors to monitor the situation closely.

According to the forecast, a low-pressure area now lies over south Thailand and its neighbourhood and is likely to emerge in the Andaman Sea during the next 12 hours.

Also Read: How insurance plans protect you against natural disasters like Cyclone Tauktae?

IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the details like the landfall, wind speed and the expected rainfall will be known only after the low pressure turns into a depression on December 3.

However, the possible cyclone is likely to impact the entire coastal region of the state. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the southeast and adjoining the east-central Bay of Bengal on December 2 and 3, west-central and adjoining northwest BoB and along and off north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha-West Bengal coast from December 3 to December 5, director of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, H R Biswas said.

The fishermen out at sea are advised to return to the coast by the morning of December 2, he added. It (cyclonic system) is likely to move west northwestwards and concentrate into a depression by December 2 and further intensify into a cyclonic storm over Central Bay of Bengal during subsequent 24 hours.

It is likely to move northwestwards, intensify further and reach north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts by the morning of December 4, 2021, the IMD said in a bulletin. It will, however, not make a landfall immediately and will move in the north-northeast direction for some time, Mohapatra said.

The IMD DG said that southern Odisha will witness heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall at places on December 4 and a later similar situation will be seen in the northern region of the state. Jena instructed the collectors of districts falling under yellow (heavy rainfall) and orange (heavy to very heavy rain) warning categories to be prepared to meet any water logging or localised flood-like situation, including in urban areas.

He also asked them to keep a watch on possibilities of landslides in hilly areas, to keep continuous vigil of low lying areas and to undertake de-watering measures wherever required. A district-level control room should function round the clock, the advisory said.

The IMD has issued ‘yellow’ (heavy rainfall) warning for Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts where heavy rainfall is expected between 8.30 AM of December 3 and 8.30 AM of December 4.

The met office also issued an ‘orange’ (heavy to very heavy rainfall) warning from 8.30 am of December 4 to 8.30 am of December 5 in 11 districts. The districts are Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur.

Extremely heavy rainfall is likely in one or two places in Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts. IMD forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in the 9 districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Cuttack, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj from 6.30 am of December 5 to 8.30 am of December 6.

It that squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph will blow over the southeast and adjoining the east-central Bay of Bengal on December 2. From the early morning of December 3 gale winds speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph is likely to prevail over the central Bay of Bengal.

Also Read: Experts link rise in lightning strikes to climate change, here’s why we should be worried

The wind speed will gradually increase to 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph over northwest and adjoining the west-central Bay of Bengal from the morning of December 4 for the subsequent 24 hours. The sea will remain high over the central Bay of Bengal (BoB) from December 2 and high to very high over west-central and adjoining northwest BoB from the early morning of December 4 for the subsequent 24 hours.

In Kolkata, the weatherman said since the weather system is likely to cause squally wind reaching gale speed of 60 to 70 kmph from the evening of December 4 fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea from December 3 to 5.

The Met department warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of East and West Midnapore and heavy rain in North and South 24 Parganas, Jhargram and Howrah in West Bengal on December 4.

The weatherman said heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at one or two places on December 5 in East and West Midnapore, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, Howrah and Jhargram districts, while heavy rain is likely in Hooghly, Nadia, Murshidabad, East Bardhaman and Malda districts.

GST authorities claim tax evasion by Mumbai-based Suumaya Industries

GST collections, GST collections for December

Mumbai-based Suumaya Group is under the scanner for alleged GST evasion. Shares of the company have been tumbling for days and hit the lower circuit on Tuesday.

Also Read: View | The curious case of Suumaya Industries: Why cashflows matter more

CNBC-TV18 learns that the GST authorities are currently scanning various entities of the group with respect to suspicious transactions. Authorities claim that the system red flagged transactions worth Rs 958 crore made by Suumaya Industries in April 2021. Mumbai GST authorities have also arrested 3 people including a CA in the matter.

Watch the video for more.

The need for India’s first crypto transparency report

cryptocurrency, bitcoin

Over the years, the role of comms in general for emerging tech companies has evolved drastically. While the journey has been an incredibly fruitful experience in terms of professional growth, there are some aspects with tech going mainstream that has completely refined the PR industry and their role as comms professionals. There is a genuine trust deficit amongst us all.

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world. The failing trust in ecosystems that are unable to confront the rampant infoddemic, leaving the four institutions—business, government, non-governmental organisations, and the media—in an environment of information debt with a mandate to rebuild trust and chart a new path forward.

In order to begin to agree to disagree on something, we believe it’s increasingly important for those who are in the field of communications to create proper channels that could bust myths and help bridge the knowledge gap that exists amongst all key stakeholders to rebuild trust.
It is argued by fans that Bitcoin, which is now about 12 years old, has garnered a wider acceptance for being a safe-haven asset and a store of value similar to gold since institutional investors have bought into it.

Brokerages, securities, and banks are now preparing themselves for meeting the rising demands, and there are also safeguards such as trading services and new custody with proper credentials and licenses that cater specifically to the big regulated investors.

Moreover, numerous central banks are trying to figure out how to digitize their sovereign currencies, a step of validation for the blockchain system that has been brought closer to the mainstream by Bitcoin.

Web 3.0 and decentralisation

The first version of the web was static in nature, and hardly had any services with user interaction. It was mainly all about anyone and everyone going online. Individuals and businesses were all ready to go global, and it was at this moment where some of the biggest companies in the world, including Google and Amazon, saw their inception.

Later came the second generation of the web, also popularly known as the social era, where every kind of business was thinking of adding a social aspect to their company.

It was at this time when social media giants Twitter and Facebook were born with their main goal of making the world more intertwined, engaged, and connected.

And now we’re currently living in the third most recent generation that is built on blockchain technology, which can be seen as an era of decentralization and transparency.

Era of blockchain revolution

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that is generating whole new levels of innovation across industrie, with applications such as supply chain monitoring for pharmaceutical and food manufacturing, digital IDs, payment processing, etc.

A recent report by Nasscom illustrates that the Cryptotech industry, which includes crypto applications in retail, P2P payments, trading, and remittances, among many others, has increased by 39% in the past 5 years in India.

The report also stated that the crypto tech industry is expected to reach $241 million by 2030 in India and $23 billion by 2026 globally.

However, in recent months, there has been much speculation about the future legal status of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos in India. With more than $6.6 billion in investments being already made in crypto assets by Indian retail investors, the industry is providing employment to more than 50,000 individuals in the country and has over 230 startups right now, along with 150+ projects.

Impact of the #IndiaWantsCrypto Campaign

The #IndiaWantsCrypto Twitter campaign was designed to simply create awareness and spread the right kind of message about the crypto industry, and after 2 years of the campaign, it resulted in the Supreme Court of India thrashing the crypto banking ban.

Amidst these two years, the company innovated and grew to become of the most premier and largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, and now WazirX has over 10 million users and has trading volumes of around $38 billion since the month of January 2021.

In the past year or so, we have successfully launched numerous initiatives to raise crypto awareness in India, including our education partner campaign, campus outreach program, warriors program, amongst others.

Why do we think Transparency matters?

We believe that it is essential that transparency, openness, and integrity are maintained and extended to every stakeholder involved when it comes to understanding your options to be financially independent. Therefore, as a brand we thought through our own initiatives we can perhaps do more to educate and inform our investors and stakeholders how to make sense of this next wave of crypto revolution. India’s first crypto Transparency report highlights all the details of how we protect our users’, stakeholders’, manage their personal information, financial information, and transactional data, and requests from our law enforcement agencies. This helps build clarity on what the current crypto exchange landscape looks like in India, in absence of regulatory guidelines from the Indian government.

Our Legal Composition:

  • We have a great legal team to coordinate, review, and comply with the concerned authorities.
  • User consent is taken in order to check and scrutinize transactional data.
  • The legal procedures are thoroughly reviewed and placed based on prior requests received from numerous agencies.
  • We have a dedicated legal team and a grievance officer who can be reached at Legal@wazirx.com

In order to abide by WazirX’s commitment to creating a transparent and thriving crypto ecosystem, a well-thought and coordinated approach is necessary to give required visibility to regulators for safeguarding the interests of crypto investors.

Hence, going forward, we will be releasing bi-yearly transparency reports for showing our sincere commitment to helping several agencies with the received requests. With these transparency reports, we would be documenting the requests in order to identify any transactional frauds and other wrongdoings.

Our most recent Transparency report was released last month on October 14, 2021, with the key highlights of the report being:

  • Between April 2021 to September 2021, WazirX has received 377 requests from law enforcement agencies, out of which 38 were from Foreign Law enforcement agencies.
  • All of the legal information and data requests received from such agencies were of criminal nature, and our compliance rate has been 100% for over 377 requests.
  • From April to Sept 2021, 14469 accounts have been locked, with 90% of the activities being user-driven (customers chose to close accounts) and 10% being initiated by our legal team for payment disputes or ongoing active investigations for law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, we urge everyone to feel free to ask questions and suggest how to better our communication approach to build the bridge for effective communication to democratise content that is important to have to make an informed decision about why we need to own our personal narrative of financial freedom.

Note: This is a partnered post. The author is PR and Policy Comms Manager at WazirX.

Bank officers’ union launches nationwide movement against privatisation

Bank officers’ union on Tuesday launched a nationwide movement against the proposed privatisation of state-owned lenders. ‘Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Rally’ was held at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Tuesday attended by officers and other stakeholders from various parts of the country, the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) said in a statement.

Addressing the rally, AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Datta appealed to the government to withdraw the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which has been listed for introduction and passing in the winter session of Parliament.

“In case the government tables and passes the bill paving the way for the privatisation of the public sector banks, the bank officers will unite all the stakeholders of the banking sector and launch a nationwide agitation,” he said, urging the bankers to draw inspiration from the farmer’s movement.

Also Read: Applying for loans? How to pick between fintechs and banks for credit requirements

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting Budget 2021-22 earlier this year had announced the privatisation of public sector banks (PSBs) as part of a disinvestment drive to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to be introduced during the session is expected to bring down the minimum government holding in the PSBs from 51 percent to 26 percent.

In the last concluded session, Parliament passed a bill to allow privatisation of state-run general insurance companies. The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, removed the requirement of the central government to hold at least 51 percent of the equity capital in a specified insurer.

Also Read: Banks write off Rs 46,382 cr NPA in H1: MoS Finance to Lok Sabha

The Act, which came into force in 1972, provided for the acquisition and transfer of shares of Indian insurance companies and undertakings of other existing insurers in order to serve better the needs of the economy by securing the development of the general insurance business.

Government think-tank NITI Aayog has already suggested two banks and one insurance company to Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment for privatisation. According to sources, the Central Bank of India and the Indian Overseas Bank are likely candidates for privatisation.

Startup Street: Government to soon bring a new cryptocurrency bill; experts weigh in

The Narendra Modi government will soon bring in a new bill on cryptocurrency after it is approved by the union cabinet, said union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha.

A Bill on Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency for introduction in the Lok Sabha has been included in the Lok Sabha Bulletin-Part II, as part of the government business expected to be taken up during the ongoing winter session.

The bill seeks to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India.

When asked if the government will ban cryptocurrency advertisements, the finance minister said the Centre is looking at the guidelines for advertisements.

To discuss this, Startup Street spoke to Rameesh Kailasam, CEO of IndiaTech.org.

Also, watch Startup Street in conversation with Akash Sinha, co-founder & CEO of Cashfree Payments who spoke about the company’s $15 million investment in UAE and Saudi Arabia based-payment service provider, Telr.

Watch the video for the entire conversation.

OPEC oil output boost in November again falls short of target

crude oil futures

The increase in OPEC’s oil output in November has again undershot the rise planned under a deal with allies, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, bringing a lack of capacity in some producers into focus ahead of a policy meeting this week.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped 27.74 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, the survey found, a rise of 220,000 bpd from the previous month but below the 254,000 increase allowed under the supply deal.

OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are gradually relaxing 2020’s output cuts as demand recovers from the pandemic. But many smaller producers can’t raise supply and others have been wary of pumping too much in case of renewed COVID-19 setbacks.

OPEC+ meets on Thursday. A US-led release of oil stocks by consumer nations to lower prices and the appearance of the Omicron coronavirus variant have cast doubt whether a 400,000 bpd output boost planned in January will go ahead, analysts say.

“The pressure is growing on OPEC+,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. Stepping up production by 400,000 bpd in January was “virtually unimaginable in view of the latest market developments,” he said.

A drop in oil prices, to USD 71 by Tuesday – from a three-year high above USD 86 a barrel in October – has also caused unease, OPEC+ delegates say, although the Saudi energy minister said on Monday he was not worried about Omicron.

The OPEC+ agreement allowed for a 400,000 bpd production increase in November from all members, of which about 253,000 bpd is shared by the 10 OPEC members covered by the deal, OPEC figures seen by Reuters show.

Also Read | Crude oil prices gain for second day; here’s how prices will trend going forward

With output undershooting the planned increase, OPEC’s compliance with its pledged cuts increased to 120 percent in November, the survey found, from 118 percent a month earlier.

OPEC+ is not expected to address the underperformance of some producers by reallocating output targets on Thursday.

The biggest rises in November came from OPEC’s top two producers, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which both boosted output largely as promised according to the agreement.

Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria also made increases as called for by their higher November quotas. Nigerian output, often hit by unplanned outages, recovered in November as a force majeure was lifted.

Output declined or did not increase in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the survey found, owing to a lack of capacity to produce more.

The biggest decline – 50,000 bpd – was in Angola, where exports hit a record low during the month according to tanker schedules. The second largest was in Libya, one of the countries exempt from OPEC supply curbs, due to pipeline maintenance.

Output in Iran, which has raised exports since the fourth quarter despite US sanctions, was steady in November. Talks to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which would allow a larger export recovery, resumed this week.

The Reuters survey aims to track supply to the market and is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from tanker trackers such as Petro-Logistics and Kpler, as well as information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.