Bitcoin Ban Stamped Out of EU’s Crypto-Centric MiCA Bill, Emphasis Laid on Green Mining

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In another landmark decision shaping up the crypto industry, the European Union (EU) has axed proposals of banning Bitcoin mining and trading. Majority of the EU members voted against prohibiting energy-intensive Bitcoin related activities, while rooting for making the processes greener, easier on the environment. The name of EU’s crypto-centric bill is: Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA). After getting approved from EU’s parliamentary committee, MiCA awaits inputs from EU’s executive arm and member states to become a law. The framework largely revolves around consumer protection as well as prevention of market manipulation and financial crimes in the crypto sector.

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the EU has refreshed the MiCA bill with adding a ‘minimum environmental sustainability standard’ for cryptocurrencies to adhere to.

The process of Bitcoin mining consumes loads of energy, that not only overloads urban electricity grids, but also adds to carbon emissions impacting the environment.

Cryptocurrencies such as BTC are generated on advanced computers, required to solve complex proof-of-work algorithms. These machines need to be plugged in at all times, which gobbles up large chunks of electricity.

EU’s bill now wants to add credit to crypto assets based on how sustainable they are.

The committee has passed a separate proposal to define whether crypto can be viewed as a sustainable investment. If approved, cryptocurrency mining could be added to the EU’s taxonomy for sustainable finance, a Bloomberg report said.

While MiCA is yet to get insights from other EU-related entities, Industry insiders have appreciated EU’s overall approach.

“The EU not banning proof-of-work cryptos like Bitcoin and instead proposing to include crypto-assets mining in the classification system for sustainable activities by 2025 is an ‘innovation friendly’ approach to crypto laws,”  Rohas Nagpal told Gadgets 360. Nagpal is the author of the ‘Crypto Playbook’ and Chief Blockchain Architect of the Hybrid Finance (HyFi) Blockchain.

The development has also garnered applauds of relief from investors including business tycoons like Michael Saylor on Twitter.

The energy impact of crypto mining has been a topic of concern among several nations.

As per Cambridge researchers, the mining of Bitcoin consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy a year.

Iran, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Sveneti, and Irkutsk regions have had to take drastic steps to control crypto mining activities.

In January 2022, industry experts presented their testimonies before the US House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee suggesting alternate ways to power crypto mining operations.

Some regions in the world are already working on making BTC mining more energy efficient.

Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador has revealed his plans of building a Bitcoin City at the base of the Conchagua volcano, in order to power Bitcoin mining with renewable energy and tackle the carbon footprint issue associated with the process.

Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, has also proposed setting up a Bitcoin-mining facility near a nuclear power plant in Florida. As per a report by Latest News Today, nuclear energy is on the brink of being recognised as a true environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) solution in terms of energy.

Recent findings by research platform CoinShares, however, claims that Bitcoin mining contributed only 0.8 percent of world’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a year and that about 60 percent of Bitcoin-mining activity is powered by fossil fuels.



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Cryptocurrency Use for Money Laundering Being Probed in 7 Cases, Rs. 135 Crore Attached: Minister to Lok Sabha

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The Enforcement Directorate is investigating seven cases in which cryptocurrency has been used for money laundering and has so far attached proceeds of crime worth Rs 135 crore, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Law enforcement agencies have flagged usage of cryptocurrency by cybercriminals and cases investigated by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) reveals that the accused have laundered proceeds of crime (PoC) through the virtual currency, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is investigating 07 cases under PMLA, 2002, in which cryptocurrency has been used for Money Laundering,” he said.

So far, the ED has attached PoC amounting to Rs 135 crore under the PMLA in these cases, the minister added.

To a query on whether the government has identified people involved in such activities in the country, Chaudhary said investigations conducted by the ED so far, revealed that some foreign nationals and their Indian associates have laundered the PoC through cryptocurrency accounts at certain exchange platforms.

In one of the cases, an accused has been arrested by the ED in 2020 for facilitating the foreign-related accused companies to launder the PoC by converting money generated out of crime into cryptocurrency and thereafter transfer to foreign countries. A prosecution complaint has been filed in this case before the PMLA Special Court.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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CBDCs to Have Little Impact on Private Stablecoins, Claims Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino

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Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, believes that the growing development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) around the world will not really affect the role of private stablecoins. Paolo noted that fiat currencies are already digital currencies in essense but due to dependency on the 30 years old technology, these are inefficient and require massive investment in maintenance. Ardoino is of the opinion CBDCs would only replace centralised payment networks as SWIFT and use private blockchains to fulfill most transactions.

Ardoino who posted a thread on Twitter about his views on the growing discussion around CBDCs and their role in the current payment system, explains that CBDCs are not designed to digitise fiat currency, as that something that has already been done, given that most modern transactions are digital.

Ardoino claims that the main role of CBDCs is to employ private blockchain as a state-of-the-art, cost-controlled technology infrastructure in which the majority of bank transfers and credit/ debit card transactions will be carried out. He does point out the benefits of CBDCs too, stating that their onset will mean quicker settlements of wire transfers, including those that are made of the weekend.

The Tether CTO adds that private stablecoins such as USDT will remain relevant even in the age of government-issued digital currencies since private stablecoins would give users the option to transfer across chains and would be available across multiple blockchains of choice, something CBDCs won’t have on offer.

Paolo Ardoino’s comments on the relevance of private stablecoins at a future of CBDCs arrives at a time when conversations appear to be gathering steam whether private stablecoins will see a dip in demand once CBDCs see wider adoption.

As highlighted by a Cointelegraph report, the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker finds that 86 countries, including India, are currently in the process of developing their sovereign digital currency, a number that has doubled since May 2020. Out of these 86 nations, nine countries have already launched their CBDC while fifteen countries are in the pilot phase.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.


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Search Interest in NFTs and Metaverse Fading, Shows Google Trends

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The final quarter of 2021 saw metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) blossom into popularity. But as the global economy copes with a difficult time, it seems like interest in both NFTs and metaverse projects are beginning to wane. Google Trends data reveals that while both the metaverse and NFTs were hot topics for people last year, search volumes March 2022 have dipped massively and metrics like trading volumes and crypto price charts are also pointing in the same direction.

As highlighted by CryptoPotato in a report, Google Trends charts are usually a reliable pointer for retail interest and search queries for the word ‘metaverse’ has fallen to levels seen in early October 2021, which is prior to Facebook’s decision to rebrand its name to Meta.

Similarly, NFT resource NonFungible shows that trades volume per week for NFTs have also been declining. The industry data tracker that the average selling price of a non-fungible token has declined to under $2,000 (roughly Rs. 1.5 lakh), compared with an all-time high of almost $6,900 (roughly Rs. 5.3 lakh) at the beginning of 2022.

OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, recorded its best month ever in January. Since then, prices have steadily retreated as concern about an easing of pandemic era stimulus and geopolitical tensions weighed on the wider crypto market. The decline has only accelerated since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Another possible contributor to the decline is the likelihood of increased regulation. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinising creators of NFTs and the marketplaces where they trade to determine if some of the assets run afoul of the agency’s rules.

Sales of some of the most popular brands are falling fast. NBA Top Shot NFTs are down 26 percent from last week, while popular play-to-earn project Axie Infinity’s are down 15 percent, according to data tracker DappRadar. While those flagship NFT sales are off, the decline isn’t across the board. Sales of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are up 59 percent in the past seven days, while CryptoPunk sales are up 118 percent, DappRadar data show.

Despite trends suggesting a downward turn for some NFT and metaverse projects, it’s also worth noting that BTC trading volumes in Ukraine and Russia soared last week because of the ongoing war between the two countries. This has given many Bitcoin proponents the opportunity to emphasise that cryptocurrency is an uncorrelated asset.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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Bitcoin, Ether Prices Recoil After Recent Gains, Stablecoins Show Resilience

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Crypto sector has remained volatile in recent days as the geopolitical rivalry between Russia and Ukraine turned into a war fifteen days ago. Bitcoin today opened trading with minor losses. As per Indian exchange CoinSwitch Kuber, BTC dipped in value by 4.58 percent to trade at $40,354 (roughly Rs. 31 lakh). The oldest cryptocurrency followed a similar trajectory on international exchanges as well. With losses of up to six percent denting its value, BTC prices hover around $38,627 (roughly Rs. 29.5 lakh) on Coinbase and CoinMarketCap.

Ether also rolled down the price ladder following Bitcoin’s tumble. ETH prices fell by 3.43 percent bringing its trading price to $2,670 (roughly Rs. 2 lakh) as per Gadgets 360’s crypto price tracker. Ether prices slipped down by over 4.3 percent on global exchanges as well. On CoinMarketCap for instance, ETH is trading at $2,552 (roughly Rs. 1.95 lakh).

Both, Bitcoin and Ether showed signs of recovery earlier this week. While BTC values continued to hover over the mark of $42,000 (roughly Rs. 32 lakh), ETH values remained close to $2,600 (roughly Rs. 2 lakh). Today may have started on a rough note for the top two cryptocurrencies, their fluctuating prices could see highs in the coming days, market pattern suggests.

Several other popular cryptocurrencies collapsed on the price scale as their high-risk nature kept investors a tad detached amid the ongoing turmoil in international politics.

“India, for example, saw an exodus of funds from foreign investors, with some $2.9 billion (roughly Rs. 22,130 crore) worth of foreign capital leaving Indian shores last week,” the research team at CoinDCX told Gadgets 360.

Binance Coin, Ripple, and Cardano along with Litecoin, Chainlink, and Polygon reeled-in losses.

Shiba Inu and Dogecoin also made place among value-losing currencies.

The majorly loss-ridden crypto movement comes despite the sector getting official recognition in the US and UAE.

While US President Joe Biden signed executive orders on government oversight of the cryptocurrency industry, Dubai got a set of new regulatory frameworks.

The Ukraine-Russia conflict is weighing heavy on the market scale, keeping crypto investors away, especially from India.

“The persisting situation in Ukraine, alongside the economic fallout and inflationary pressure were the primary concerns weighing on investors’ minds,” the CoinDCX team added.

Some stablecoins saw gains, but only minor ones.

Tether, USD Coin, and Binance USD are part of the list.

Other underdog cryptocurrencies like Tron, Terra, Elrond, ZCash, and Dash also saw small profits.

The concept of CBDCs — central bank digital currencies — is gaining more attraction from world leaders.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, for instance, has said that she expects the nation’s central bank to launch a CBDC this year, accelerating the timeline from the earlier 2022-2023 announcement.

The current market cap of the crypto sector stands at $1.72 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,31,36,857 crore) as per CoinMarketCap. It has gone lower than its figure of $1.83 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,40,87,797 crore) from March 9.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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UK’s Financial Watchdog Orders Crypto ATMs to Shut Services, Reveals None Have Official Permits

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UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered all crypto ATMs operating in the country to suspend services with immediate effect. The British financial watchdog has noted that none of the registered crypto asset firms have been permitted to operate ATM services, insinuating that these operational facilities are currently illegal. Law enforcement agencies have been directed to take action against the crypto ATM providers that fail to adhere to UK’s laws and regulations around the digital assets sector.

Over 80 crypto ATM machines have been identified in parts of UK so far, after a judge ruled against one operator named Gidiplus.

“Crypto ATMs offering crypto asset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). None of the crypto asset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services,” the FCA said in a statement.

In recent years, images of crypto ATMs being installed in UK have surfaced multiple times on Twitter.

UK has, so far, maintained a very calculative approach towards the crypto sector.

Not only has it acted against crypto promoting advertisements being displayed on public platforms, but it has also begun inching closer to establishing a regulatory framework around the digital finance sector.

“We regularly warn consumers that crypto assets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them,” the FCA added.

A recent survey by the FCA revealed that 69 percent of crypto investors believed that these assets are regulated by the FCA. Following this revelation, the body has decided to bring in strict rules against the promotion of high-risk investments in the country. Most of these people are aged between 18-40, a report by London-based news portal City AM said recently.

Meanwhile, besides the UK, crypto ATMs have cropped up in other nations as well. Bitcoin ATMs are becoming a thing in the US as well as other nations with an increase in adoption.

In October, Walmart had announced the installation of 200 Bitcoin ATMs in select store branches located across the US — to allow visitors to purchase the crypto-coin.

In El Salvador for instance, Bitcoin ATMs allow people to transact in the crypto token or convert it to fiat.

Last year, US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had warned people against using crypto ATMs, especially the ones that advertise anonymity for transactions.

“These cryptocurrency ATMs may be non-compliant with US federal regulations and may facilitate money laundering. Instructions to use cryptocurrency ATMs with these specific characteristics are a significant indicator of fraud,” the FBI had noted at the time.


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Japan Reminds Crypto Exchanges to Act in Line With Sanctions Against Russia, Belarus

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Japan requested on Monday that crypto exchanges not process transactions involving crypto assets subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus, officials said on Monday.

The request was made after a Group of Seven (G7) statement on Friday that said Western nations “will impose costs on illicit Russian actors using digital assets to enhance and transfer their wealth.”

There are growing concerns among G7 advanced economies that cryptocurrencies are being used by Russian entities as a loophole for financial sanctions imposed upon the country for invading Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department issued new guidance on Friday that required US-based cryptocurrency firms not to engage in transactions with sanction targets.

“We decided to make an announcement to keep the G7 momentum alive,” said a senior official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency. “The sooner the better.”

The government will work as one to strengthen measures against the transfer of funds using crypto assets that would be in violation of the sanctions, FSA and the Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement.

Unauthorised payments to targets under sanctions, including in crypto assets – such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens – are subject to punishment of up to three years in prison or a JPY 1 million (roughly Rs. 6.5 lakh) fine, the FSA said.

There were 31 crypto exchanges in Japan as of March 4, according to an industry association.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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Elon Musk, Michael Saylor Side With Bitcoin as a Hedge Against Inflation Risks

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The global economic system seems to be undergoing a massive shift with geopolitical tensions riding high around the world. In a recent chat on Twitter, while Elon Musk and Michael Saylor backed Bitcoin (BTC) as a hedge against a rise in inflation, Musk also advised people to invest in physical assets to stay ahead of probable inflation curve. Saylor, on the other hand, predicted that USD consumer inflation will remain near all-time highs and that BTC’s scarcity will drive in capital and further investments into the cryptocurrency.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX opened a Twitter discussion around the probable inflation rate that could be observed over the next few years, in the wee hours of Monday, March 14.

The multi billionaire highlighted that he will continue holding on to his Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin amid rising inflation for what it’s worth.

Replying to Musk’s tweet, Saylor predicted that the US dollar will witness consumer inflation nearing all-time highs, and asset inflation will run at double the rate of consumer inflation.

The CEO of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy further added that investments in Bitcoin will ‘intensify’ because of its scarcity.

The annual inflation rate in the US increased from 3.2 percent in 2011 to 4.7 percent in 2021, indicating that the purchasing power of the dollar has weakened in recent years, as per research firm Statista.

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war altering the dynamics of international politics are some of the reasons why inflation risks are being predicted by industry leaders.

Just last week, Saylor called Bitcoin a “miraculous limited resource” unlike gold, real estate, equities, and bonds among other priced resources noting that there will only be 21 million Bitcoins to ever exist.

Within 13 years of its existence, 90 percent of the 21 million Bitcoins have already been mined. That makes for 18.9 million units.

Last year, a report by Blockchain.com claimed that it will take 120 years for the remaining 10 percent Bitcoin tokens to be mined.

Meanwhile, the support by Musk and Saylor for the crypto sector did have some positive impact on their market movement.

BTC, Ether (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) showed small profits at the time of writing, as per Gadgets 360’s crypto price tracker.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 


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Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Prices Soar After Parent Yuga Labs Buy CryptoPunks, Meebits

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The floor price of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs have soared by over 25 percent in the last 24 hours. The development came immediately after BAYC parent, Yuga Labs, acquired two other popular NFT collections — CryptoPunks and Meebits that were originally created by Larva Labs. The intellectual property rights of 423 CryptoPunks NFTs as well as 1,711 pieces of Meebits NFTs are now held by Yuga Labs. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are blockchain-supported digital collectibles, inspired by literally anything — books, movies, artwork, and game characters among other items.

Pieces from the BAYC NFT collection, which features variations of cartoonised apes, are currently standing at a floor price of Ether 95.88 or $248,801 (roughly Rs. 2 crore) as per CoinGecko.

In an official statement, Yuga Labs credited Meebits and CryptoPunks project founders for influenced the creation of the BAYC pieces.

“Their work moved NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain, and the entire crypto space forward, and influenced how we built BAYC. We’re honored to shepherd the CryptoPunks and Meebits brands into the future as part of the broader ecosystem we’re building,” Yuga Labs said.

The parties involved in the deal have not revealed the amount of capital that sealed the purchase.

“This deal came about in a very organic way from conversations between our partner Guy Oseary and the Larva Labs founders. One call led to another and here we are at this historic moment,” Yuga Labs said.

Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the co-founders of Larva Labs will not be joining Yuga Labs in any way in the backdrop of this deal.

Both, Meebits and CryptoPunks are among the top selling NFT collections on OpenSea and LooksRare marketplaces.

The Meebits are unique 3D voxel characters, created by a custom generative algorithm. The floor price of these pieces stand at ETH 4.7 or $12,112 (roughly Rs. 10 lakh), as per NFTPriceFloor. The project was launched in 2021.

On the other hand, the CryptoPunks are 10,000 uniquely generated characters and no two are exactly alike. The project was launched in June 2017. Its floor price at the time of writing is ETH 69.95 or $180,226 (roughly Rs. 1.35 crore).

As per reports, the volume of NFT sales crossed $25 billion (roughly Rs. 1,84,700 crore) in 2021.

With NFT-owning becoming a trend among crypto holders and celebrities, platforms like the New York Stock Exchange have applied to operate as an NFT marketplace in the future.

Last month, the world’s first NFT vending machine was established in New York City that allows non-crypto holders to purchase digital collectibles via their debit and credit cards.


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 


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MakeMyTrip Announces NFT Collection to Celebrate Hidden, Popular Travel Destinations in India

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MakeMyTrip, the popular Indian travel company, has decided to launch limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the artwork for which, the company claims, has been conceptualised and designed to commemorate some of the popular and unexplored travel spots in India. The NFTs are aimed at giving travellers a chance to own digital collectibles of their favourite destinations, the company said. The first batch of these artworks will have the landscapes of Goa, Ladakh, Orissa, Himachal, Kashmir, Kerala, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, and Andamans in them.

Conceptualised and designed by AI Bots, an online community of digital artists, each artwork had been designed using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), a tool that requires the creator to upload several images and train AI algorithms in order to generate a realistic depiction of the final artwork.

Priced upwards of Rs. 14,999, MakeMyTrip has launched 25 tokens for each artwork, available for grabs on a first-come-first-serve basis. Minted on the Polygon blockchain, the NFTs can be accessed through MakeMyTrip’s website and bought on ngageN starting March 9.

MakeMyTrip claims it will pass on the proceeds from the sale of these NFTs to support projects focusing on promoting sustainable tourism in the country.

“The NFTs are a confluence of new-age technology with the world of travel as it captures the beauty of some of the exotic locations of India. We are offering travel enthusiasts a never-before chance to be owners of this beauty in the digital domain,” said Sunil Suresh the group’s chief marketing officer in a statement to Mint.

Praphul Chandra, founder, KoineArth, said, “With the launch of their NFTs, Indians around the world can digitally own the beauty of India, make it part of their personal legacy and even gift it to their loved ones. The artwork of NFTs is a great example of how brands-with-a-purpose are working with digital artists to create art that captures their spirit.”


Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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