Over Christmas, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finally published a comment warning the public about the dangers of dabbling in Bitcoin. Raids have followed, forcing websites that trade the virtual currency to suspend operations.
Enthusiasts have long hailed Bitcoin as a panacea for India’s economic problems, from low rates of financial inclusion to an unsustainable demand for gold. But even the most zealous Bitcoin miners admit that the future of the virtual currency lies with the regulator – which seems to be wary. Read more
China’s ban on banks doing business in Bitcoin, the volatile digital currency, throws up big questions for Bitcoin enthusiasts in India, who insist India is the world’s largest potential market for the e-currency.
The Bitcoin community in India remains small, with just 50,000 people using or even aware of the e-currency so far according to Sathvik Vishwanath, chief executive of CoinMonk Ventures, an Indian Bitcoin service and investment company. But interest is growing. Read more
The Indian rupee is down by over 10 per cent since May. While that may hurt some of the poorer off in society as prices of imported goods pick up, the better off may notice less.
But here’s a little kick for the privileged: prices are rising rapidly in fine dining restaurants. Read more
Ghana’s central bank sprung a surprise on Wednesday by raising its policy rate from 15 per cent to 16 per cent, stepping up its efforts to halt the decline of the cedi.
Central Bank Governor Henry Kofi Wampah noted risks to economic growth arising in part from tightened credit, but decided the weakening of the currency was the bigger threat. Read more
The yen shock has sent shudders around Japan’s Asian exporter rivals, not least Thailand.
The baht has soared spreading consternation among exporters. But even in a country where exports are over 75 per cent of GDP, the picture isn’t as simple as it seems. First, currency isn’t the only determinant of export competitiveness in a world of complex trade flows. And second, there could be benefits to Thailand in the expected outflow of Japanese money seeking higher yields in emerging markets. Read more