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Jay Z, Jack Dorsey Set Up Bitcoin Fund For Africa and India

Hip-Hip mogul Sean Carter, or as he is better known Jay Z, and Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey have set up an endowment fund for crypto-entrepreneurs in Africa and India, they announced on Friday. Together they have provided 500 BTCs, or a little over Rs 172 crore, which will be used to fund Bitcoin development in the two regions.

The duo are also looking for three board members to join the ₿trust, which aims to make “bitcoin the internet’s currency” Dorsey and Jay Z are the latest in a long line of celebrities and entrepreneurs backing crypto-currency development and trading in recent weeks. In fact, Dorsey, who heads Twitter and fintech company Sqaure added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter description. This week Dorsey made a $1 million cash donation to Coin Center, a non-profit crypto-currency think tank, CNBC reported.

According Bitrates, notable celebrities and entrepreneurs who have invested in crypto-currencies or crypto-firms include Richard Branson, Serena Williams, R&B star Akon, boxer Mike Tyson, actor Jamie Foxx and hip-hop moguls Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.

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Earlier this week, Tesla Inc. purchased around $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoins this week and will start accepting the crypto-currency as a payments instrument. With Tesla’s latest investment, listed corporates, private companies and exchange-traded funds now own over $60.7 billion worth of Bitcoins as of date, according to Bitcoin Treasuries.

Fate of India’s crypto-industry uncertain

Meanwhile, two weeks ago, the Indian government announced that it would introduce The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, which will ban “private” crypto-currencies while at the same time providing the RBI with the requisite legal powers to develop a central bank-backed digital currency (CBDC), according to the official Lok Sabha Bulletin Part II for the Budget Session 2021 of Parliament.

As part of proposed legislation, the government plans to give existing investors a window of three to six months to square their holdings, according to a BloombergQuint report.

While the government wants to promote the use of blockchain across various use-cases, it has decided to enter the global race of digital currencies or CBDCs while at the same time banning “private” crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum among others.  This is similar to model pursued in China, where regulators banned crypto-trading and crypto-firms in 2017 to make way for its CBDC, which is still undergoing testing.

MediaNama has prepared a guide on crypto-currency regulations in India, listing the government’s position over the last few years and various policy recommendations; read it here: A complete low-down on crypto-currency regulation in India

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IndiaTech.Org, also known as the Technology Services Industry Association, has advocated for traceability provisions to be introduced for crypto-currency investments and trading to counter money-laundering...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

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