The government of India is reportedly considering the legalization of digital currencies, with some restrictions, per CoinDesk. According to reports, an unnamed senior official, who was reportedly present for the meetings of an interdisciplinary committee, said, “There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders.” The committee, which was created by the government in April, is said to be planning to provide the finance ministry in the country with a new report as of this coming February.
In other news, Bank Of America may be looking into using blockchain technology for automated teller machines (ATMs), CoinDesk reported. According to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing, the company has detailed a system to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions, in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits.” The bank also claimed, according to the outlet, that the technology might allow devices to “handle a relatively larger amount of transaction volume, while reducing its physical cash transportation needs.”
China-based Bitmain is reportedly set to undergo some layoffs, according to CoinDesk. The reports came after a discussion on Dec. 17 on Maimai, a Chinese site that is similar to LinkedIn. According to some posts, which CoinDesk said “appear to be verified Bitmain employees on the social network,” layoffs might start this week. The outlet said that one post read, “The layoff will start next week, and involves more than 50 percent of the entire [Bitmain] headcount.” The company said in a statement, as reported by CoinDesk, "There has been some adjustment to our staff this year as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business."
On another note, crypto exchange Bithumb has notched a victory in court in a case that involved a reported hack into a user’s account, according to CoinDesk. One user claimed to put ₩400 million ($356,762 USD) into a Bithumb account, only to have the funds changed into Ethereum and transferred out of the account by someone that might have been a hacker. The individual, who brought Bithumb parent Bitsy claimed that the exchange “requires a high degree of security measures, required by financial institutions.” However, a judge agreed with Bithumb that it was not responsible for compensation under the Electronic Financial Transactions Act. As digital currency is “mainly used as speculative means,” the judge noted, “it cannot be regarded as an electronic means of payment.”