What led to the suspension of crypto withdrawals
The Singapore-based cryptocurrency lending and trading platform Vauld suspended withdrawals, trading, and deposits Monday as a result of volatile market conditions and financial difficulties.
Babel Finance had also suspended withdrawals from its crypto lending platform.
According to Vauld’s CEO Darshan Bathija – a BITS Pilani alumnus – the company has frozen its working after users pulled nearly $200 million over the last three weeks as cryptocurrency prices plunged. Users of other platforms who have suspended withdrawals have cited “unusual liquidity pressures” as the reason.
The company has hired some for the post of financial and legal advisers to analyze options, including restructuring. In India and Singapore, the company has appointed Kroll for the post of financial adviser and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Mr. Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP as legal advisers. As part of a $25 million round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Pantera Capital, and Coinbase, the company raised $25 million in July.
Prices of cryptocurrencies had fallen earlier due to the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates to curb inflation, draining the market of excess liquidity. In May, TerraUSD and its sister cryptocurrency Luna broke from their dollar peg, wiping out more than $40 billion in investor money. Bitcoin, that has lost more than 50% of its value since May, has also been affected by the selloff in TerraUSD.
Among the key aspects of this development is the liquidity crunch these companies are experiencing. With its heavy investments in Luna, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a Singapore-based hedge fund, saw its assets under management plummet by over 70% following the crash of TerraUSD and Luna. Voyager Digital extended 670 million in loans to 3AC, which were defaulted upon. Trading, deposits, and withdrawals were suspended by Voyager Digital as a result of the spillover effect. In a similar move, Celsius Network, which serves 1.7 million customers, paused all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts last month. It is noteworthy that 3AC has filed for bankruptcy.
A number of crypto lenders have been brought down by the spiraling prices of digital assets, indicating that cryptocurrencies are a heavily leveraged asset class. Several exchanges, including BitMEX and Deribit, liquidated 3AC’s levered positions on some cryptocurrencies after it failed to meet margin calls, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Several lenders have started recalling loans extended to large borrowers due to the uncertainty in the crypto market, according to the report.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Adam Reeds, chief executive of crypto lender Ledn, as saying that there is a shortage of supply because companies like Celsius have stopped withdrawing assets. Reeds said many market makers who used to borrow from platforms like that are now looking for alternatives.
Bloomberg reports that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (where Vauld, 3AC, and TerraUSD creator Terraform Labs are based) is “carefully considering the introduction of additional consumer protection safeguards.” There are new rules being considered by the city-state, such as limits on retail participation and norms regarding leverage when trading cryptocurrencies. Last week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore reprimanded 3AC for providing false information and exceeding the limit on assets under management and was investigating the fund for more violations.
What does the new service charge say?
Under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, the CCPA was established in July 2020 to encourage, safeguard, and enforce the rights of consumers, as well as to investigate, prosecute, and punish violations.
On Monday, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) released guidelines to protect consumers’ interests regarding the levying of service charges in hotels and restaurants.
A consumer can lodge a complaint against hotels and restaurants by calling 1915 under the guidelines.
Under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, the CCPA was established in July 2020 to promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers, as well as to investigate, prosecute, and punish violations.
The CCPA has issued five major guidelines regarding the levying of service charges by restaurants and hotels, which has long been a contentious issue and has periodically triggered consumer complaints. As per the guidelines
It is forbidden for hotels and restaurants to automatically or by default add service charges to their bills; No other name shall be used to collect service charges from consumers;
A hotel or restaurant shall not force a consumer to pay a service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that it is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion; there shall be no restriction on entry or provision of services based on the collection of service charge, and service charge shall not be collected by adding it to the food bill and levying GST on it.
If she finds a service charge on her bill, she has four options at different levels of escalation.
The first thing she can do is request that the service charge be removed from her bill at the hotel or restaurant.
In addition, she can file a complaint with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism prior to litigation. If you wish to file a complaint, you can call the number 1915, or you can use the NCH app on your mobile device.
In addition, consumers can file complaints with the Consumer Commission or through the Edaakhil website.
In addition, she can file a complaint with the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and further action by the CCPA. By sending an e-mail to [email protected], consumers can directly contact the CCPA.
As a result of consumer complaints, the CCPA took action against restaurants and hotels imposing service charges without asking or informing them in advance.
A meeting was held on June 2 between the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and restaurant associations and consumer organizations.
According to the department, a “robust framework” will be released shortly to ensure strict compliance with its 2017 guidelines prohibiting service charges. Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said restaurants could not charge customers hidden fees.
Raise your restaurant’s rates to raise the wages of your workers. There is no restriction on that. It would be great if they raised the wages of their employees. During a press conference on June 3, Goyal said, “They are free to increase the wages of their employees and to charge whatever rate they want.”
In case the rate is cheaper than the published price, then logon ko Kaise maloom padega ki kya real price hai? Nevertheless, they cannot levy a charge of deceit. If some of them do and others do not, how will the public know what the real price is?” Goyal said.
In accordance with Section 18 (2) (I) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the CCPA has issued guidelines.
Additionally, the guidelines are in addition to the Centre’s 2017 guidelines that prohibit hotels and restaurants from charging service charges to consumers and define any other charges than “the prices displayed on the menu card along with applicable taxes” as unfair trade practices without the express consent of the customer.
At the June 2 meeting, representatives of the hotel and restaurant industries told the Centre that restaurants have the right to levy service charges. In their view, charging such a fee is not illegal.
The government also receives revenue from service charges because they are taxed.
Delhi’s IGI airport gets a safer and full-body scanner.
BCAS had requested the installation of these scanners at 84 airports around the country within a year in 2019. In spite of this, most airports missed the deadline due to the massive disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A full-body scanner has been trialed at Terminal 2 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport since this month. T-2’s security check area now has machines built by Leidos, an American defense, aviation, and information technology company.
During 45-60 days, the trials will continue. As directed by BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security), DIAL will install such scanners after the successful accomplishment of trials and evaluation of results, said Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO of DIAL.
BCAS had requested the installation of these scanners at 84 airports around the country within a year in 2019.
In 2019, BCAS requested the installation of these scanners at 84 airports across the country.
As well as the cost, there were other concerns. There is a cost difference between Rs 4 crore and Rs 6 crore for the Leidos machines being tested at T-2. It costs between Rs 50,000 and Rs 80,000 to install a door frame metal detector.
A full-body scanner detects both metallic and non-metallic objects using millimeter wave technology. In the microwave band, millimeter waves lie at the higher end, in the extremely high frequency (EHF) range of 30-300GHz.
A millimeter wave easily passes through common clothing materials and reflects off concealed objects. On a monitor, the reflected wavefronts are used to construct a three-dimensional image that reveals the size, structure, and orientation of the concealed object.
DIAL claims that the scanners can detect non-metal objects like drugs, plastic explosives, and prohibited or illegal objects made of rubber that cannot be detected by metal detectors. Objects concealed in body cavities or organs will also be detected by the scanners according to their size, shape, and location.
The passenger must enter the glass-frame machine and raise their arms, according to DIAL officials. The frame of a millimeter wave scanner rotates around the passenger while two antennae transmit waves simultaneously.
Any illegal object detected by the scan will be displayed on a screen monitored by officials. Passengers will be moved to the security hold area if no threat is detected.
Using the machine, officials said the results on the screen are produced after a scan of the body takes less than six seconds. Approximately 200-300 people can be processed per hour by each machine, according to them.
As of now, passengers must remove jewelry, shoes, belts, phones, devices, and any other objects that can trigger the metal detector. New millimeter wave scanners allow people to walk into them without having to remove anything. With the machines in place, passengers will not have to remove their clothing or undergo physical frisking. A security officer said that the scanners would speed up the security checks.
Passengers who cannot pass through the scanner, such as wheelchair-bound people, elderly people, or people with disabilities, will use metal detectors.
As part of the real-time trials, feedback from passengers, security personnel, DIAL, and BCAS is being recorded.
Unlike X-rays or ionizing radiation, the new body scanner will be a safer alternative for passengers. In order to avoid harmful X-ray radiation, BCAS recommends using millimeter-wave technology.
Leidos estimates that the signals from the machine are 1,000 times less powerful than those from cell phones. In the United States, it is deployed at airports that have been approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
There were concerns over possible breaches of privacy among passengers, according to officials. Unlike conventional imaging, which captures a person’s image, contactless technology only highlights “threats” on a generic mannequin figure on its screen.
There were reports that X-ray machines generated a “clearer image” of the body in violation of passengers’ privacy concerns.
The safety and security of civil aviation are a major concern for all of us.
In its role as an airport operator, DIAL has worked constantly to ensure a smooth process for passengers without compromising security or safety. There has been a tremendous amount of work done by the CISF. We have now installed an advanced full-body scanner at the airport. The system protects passengers’ privacy during security checks and has virtually no effect on their health,” said DIAL CEO Jaipuriar.
The co-location scam
An audit company incorporated in 2001 and linked to Sanjay Pandey did not flag that the NSE servers were compromised, according to an investigation. A trading company allegedly benefited from unfair access to the system because of this.
In connection with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam, former Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjay Pandey is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which registered a case in 2018, is investigating the matter.
An audit company incorporated in 2001 and linked to Sanjay Pandey is being investigated for not flagging that the NSE servers were compromised. Due to this, one of the trading companies was allegedly able to gain unfair access to the system, resulting in windfall profits. NSE security audits were conducted by the IT firm from 2010 to 2015.
The term co-location refers to the practice of renting space in a data center for servers and other computer hardware from third parties. For setting up servers and storing data, they provide infrastructures like power, bandwidth, and cooling. The most common way for customers to rent space is by rack, cabinet, cage, or room.
A co-location facility was introduced by the NSE in 2009 and allowed traders and brokers to place their servers within the NSE’s data center for a fee. Due to the low latency connectivity, traders/brokers would have faster access to the price feeds and the execution of trades by being near the exchange servers.