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Payments and fintech roundup: RBI and Steam on bitcoins and PhonePe’s transactions

RBI cautions users about bitcoins again

The Reserve bank of India (RBI) reiterated its stance on bitcoins and cryptocurrencies and cautioned users, holders, and traders in a statement. This week, RBI executive director S Ganesh Kumar said that bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies will not be used for making payments and settlements, as indicated by this Moneycontrol report. In 2013, the RBI had said that it would not regulate any Virtual Currency including Bitcoin in India and warned people who were dealing with the currency in India of the risks involved, saying that they’re exposing themselves to financial, legal, operational and security-related risk. As such, any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with Virtual Currencies will be doing so at their own risk. In recent times, the value of bitcoin has been soaring. Yesterday, bitcoin’s value touched over $14,000 in a rally.


Steam to stop accepting bitcoins for game payments

Valve, the company which operates online games marketplace Steam, says it is ending support for bitcoin as a payment method for game purchases. Valve said that the high fees and the volatility of the price of bitcoins have made it untenable for the company to support bitcoin purchases. Valve said that transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the bitcoin network went up $20 compared to $0.2 when they enabled bitcoin. “When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network …The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn’t complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.” it said. Read more here.


PhonePe says it does 1 million daily transactions

Shortly after Google announced that its UPI application Tez has 12 million active users and that it has processed 140 million transactions since its launch, its rival, PhonePe said that it processed 1 million transactions per day in November worth Rs 100 crore. PhonePe says that it has more than 55 million app installs, but note that app installs do not equate to active users. It’s important to note that Google said active users, but did not mention what period they were active. Is Google talking about monthly active users or daily active users?

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Meanwhile, PhonePe said that it had a Total Payments Volume (TPV) annual run rate of Rs 40,000 crore. Reminder again that an annual run rate is notional figure and is an extrapolation of potential performance. For example, if a company has revenues of $100 million in its latest quarter, it might be inferred that based on the latest quarter the company is operating at a $400 million run rate.

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