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Daily Digest Of Tech Policy News And Updates (May 17, 2021)

Bringing you quick updates on the tech space, policy-making and digital rights from India and across the globe. 

Hitches emerge as Indian crypto-exchanges introduce $SHIB token

Indian crypto-currency exchanges have started listing Shiba Inu ($SHIB), a meme crypto-token, with some hiccups along the way. The token saw huge demand in India following a donation by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who donated a significant portion of his $SHIB holdings, at that time worth US$1 billion, to Sandeep Nailwal’s “India Covid-Crypto Relief Fund”. As the Economic Times reported, shortages of the meme coin on WazirX’s platform led to differences between local and international prices of $SHIB. After the prices went down dramatically as the market calmed down, WazirX founder and CEO Nischal Shetty promised to remedy some traders’ steep losses by “airdropping” its homegrown $WRX token in quantities equivalent to what traders lost.

Read more on the Economic Times.

DoT holds readiness meeting ahead of Cyclone Tauktae

The Department of Telecommunications on Saturday held a meeting to plan for any damage to telecom infrastructure along the west coast, the Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association said in a press release. “The meeting was chaired by Shri Anshu Prakash, Secretary (Telecom), Department of Telecommunications and was also attended by the telecom operators along with various senior DoT officials including Shri TK Paul, DG Telecom and other officials from State offices,” TAIPA said. The DoT brought up issues like availability of adequate diesel backup and battery backup, along with free movement of supplies needed to keep cell towers online.

Read more from TAIPA’s press release.

TRAI considers making telcos offer 30 day packs

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is getting into what seems like a philosophical question as much as a rhetorical one: what constitutes a month? Telecom operators have taken the smallest number possible (28 days, as in most Februaries), and TRAI thinks intervention to revise this number upwards might be in order. In a consultation paper, the regulator asks if such an intervention would be justified. Telcos may well decide to respond that getting into such small details would be burdensome (of course, it would be nice for consumers to have a couple extra days on plans they purchase).

Read more at TRAI’s website (pdf).

Pine Labs raises US$285 million in fresh funding

The payments solution provider Pine Labs said on Monday that it had raised US$285 million in fresh funding from Baron Capital Group, Duro Capital, Marshall Wace, Moore Strategic Ventures and Ward Ferry Management, as well as existing investors Temasek, Lone Pine Capital and Sunley House Capital. TechCrunch reported that this deal pegs Pine Lab’s valuation at US$3 billion.

Read more from the Pine Labs website.

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