India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has awarded a young entrepreneur for her cryptocurrency price tracking application while the government is still deliberating on the country’s crypto policies. News.Bitcoin.com caught up with the award recipient to find out more about her app. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is being challenged in the supreme court regarding its crypto action, investment resource has found out.
While the Indian government is deliberating on whether to regulate or ban cryptocurrencies in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has awarded a young entrepreneur for her cryptocurrency tracking app creation.
The award recipient, 18-year-old Kumari Harshita Arora, created an app called Crypto Price Tracker, a portfolio management and price tracking tool for cryptocurrencies, which she designed herself.
Interacting with the award winners at his residence, the prime minister said that he is proud to see the awareness of their duty towards society and the nation, local media reported. There were 49 winners in various categories; Arora was awarded the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020 for her excellence in innovation. Noting that he gets inspiration and energy from the award recipients, Modi was quoted as saying: “When I was getting introduced to you a while back, I was really surprised. The way you all have tried in different fields, the work that has been done at such a young age … is amazing.” The prime minister added:
“Whenever I hear about such courageous work of all you young comrades, talk to you, I also get inspiration and energy.”
The Bal Shakti Puraskar award is given by the government of India every year “to recognize exceptional achievements of our children in various fields i.e., innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts & culture, sports and bravery,” explained the government’s website. It is also “to recognize the contribution of dedicated individuals and institutions, whose tireless efforts complement the actions taken by the government of India for the welfare of children.”
Arora’s Crypto Tracking App
News.Bitcoin.com caught up with Arora who shared some details about her award-winning app. “I created a cryptocurrency portfolio management and price tracking application called Crypto Price Tracker and launched it on the App Store in Jan 2018,” she told the news team, noting that it was later acquired by Redwood City Ventures. The entrepreneur elaborated:
“My app received a lot of positive feedback from the crypto community and got thousands of paid downloads in the first 24 hours of launch which led it to becoming the #2 app in the Finance category of the App Store.”
Crypto Price Tracker is a portfolio management app that does price tracking and customizable alerts. It tracks the prices of over 1,000 cryptocurrencies from over 18 exchanges in 32 fiat currencies. It also provides price charts for all monitored cryptocurrencies during the last one day, one week, one month, three months, and one year.
Users can create time-based alerts to get prices of a coin as a push notification regularly or at a specific time. They can also create price threshold-based alerts to get notifications when the price of a certain coin drops, rises or changes by a certain percentage. The app is available in the Apple app store, but not in the U.S., however.
Is the Indian Government Changing Its Stance on Crypto?
An entrepreneur winning such a prestigious award from the Indian government for crypto-related work came as a surprise to many in the crypto community since lawmakers have been considering an anti-crypto bill. The interministerial committee (IMC) headed by former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg recommended a ban on all cryptocurrencies, except state-issued ones. Garg has since resigned but maintains a negative view on the future of cryptocurrencies.
“Now this is interesting,” Varun Sethi, also known as Blockchain Lawyer, tweeted in response to the news of Arora receiving the award, pointing out that the “draft law by the interministerial committee imposes punishment for direct / indirect use of cryptos.”
Indeed, the crypto bill drafted by the IMC states that “No person shall directly or indirectly use cryptocurrency in any manner,” including providing cryptocurrency-related services to consumers or investors. Those in violation face a fine or imprisonment of “not be less than one year but which may extend up to ten years, or both,” according to the text of the bill. However, the bill has not been introduced in parliament and the Indian crypto community believes that it is flawed and will not be introduced as is.
Indian social media influencer by the name “Shalini” commented, “India is in a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrency,” adding:
“While RBI fights against crypto in the supreme court, our prime minister just awarded Harshita Arora a prestigious award for innovation in various fields including crypto (she created a crypto price tracking app).”
The Reserve Bank of India has repeatedly displayed its negative stance towards cryptocurrency. In April 2018, it issued a circular banning regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. The supreme court is currently hearing the petitions against this ban, which will resume next week.