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Cryptocurrency payments slowly gain ground in India

You can now use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to buy goods like a rug or for services such as recharging Fastag in India. Cryptocurrency is increasingly gaining in prominence as a payment method among a small yet growing set of businesses in the formal and informal economy in India. They have started to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and other crypto tokens in exchange for goods and services amid the rising popularity of the digital asset in India. The use is being dictated by businesses trying to ride on the crypto frenzy that had built up over the Covid-19 pandemic, while for some businesses the acceptance is an attempt to get ahead of the curve. In the absence of any law specifying treatment of cryptocurrency, legal experts said the use of cryptocurrency for payments in India is neither legal, nor illegal. This has not deterred businesses or customers from opting for such transactions.

Digital payments set to swell past $1 tn worth transactions annually

Digital payments in India are set to swell past $ 1 trillion worth transactions annually as the number of online transactions are ready to breach the 70 billion (number of digital transactions) mark. According to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), last year, the total digital payment transactions reached about 55 billion in terms of numbers, with all kinds of payments put together. “And, this year, we might have about 70 billion (number of digital transactions),” NPCI managing director and CEO Dilip Asbe said during the annual Global FinTech Fest 2021 (GFF 2021). said that more and more people are now using the digital payment format and now even small merchants, which is well over 50 million, are accepting digital payments. “The cash in circulation is about Rs 30 lakh crore. While it has been increasing constantly, digital payments are also increasing, even as the cash is still high,” Asbe said. As per Asbe schemes including direct benefit transfer (DBT) and the Jan Dhan Yojana, were driving the cash in circulation. “I still believe that for a country like India, 10X growth is possible in digital payments,” he said.

Short video app TikTok-rival Reels comes to Facebook

Facebook has started rolling out Reels to Facebook users in the US for both iOS and Android devices. Reels on Facebook will be available in News Feed or in Groups. Users will be able to make Reels consisting of music, audio, effects and more. Instagram Reels will now be available in the Facebook app. The social media company has started rolling out Reels to Facebook users in the US for both iOS and Android devices. Reels on Facebook will be available in News Feed or in Groups. Users will be able to make Reels consisting of music, audio, effects and more. When watching a Reel on Facebook, users will be able to follow the creator directly from the video, like and comment on it, or share it with friends. Facebook says that users can discover Reels based on their interests and what’s popular both at the top of News Feed alongside Stories and Rooms and in a new, dedicated News Feed section. Creators will be able to reach wider audiences through Facebook Reels and not just their existing followers.

Tatas’ super app TataNeu

Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran gave a sneak peek of the ‘TataNeu’ super app to its senior leadership. While the commercial launch of the TataNeu is still some months away as several pieces are yet to fall in place, the group will open up the platform only for use among its employees. The conglomerate wants to tap its huge workforce of over 7 lakh people, a ready user base, for the super app pilot study. A super app — the term was coined by Blackberry founder Mike Lazaridis in 2010 — is many apps within an umbrella app. While some group apps like BigBasket, 1MG, Taj, Croma and AirAsia have boarded TataNeu, its other apps like Titan, Tanishq, Cliq and Starbucks are yet to get onto it. The move comes in the wake of the government proposing tough e-commerce rules.The commercial launch of the TataNeu is still some months away, for now it will be opened up only for use among its employees.

Amazon brings global computer science education to India

Amazon announced the launch of its global computer science (CS) education programme – Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) – in India, that will enable access to quality CS education and career opportunities for students from underrepresented and underserved communities. In the first year of its launch, Amazon aims to enable and deliver CS learning opportunities to more than one lakh students from 900 government and aided schools across seven states in India. Amazon will partner with multiple education-focused non-profit organisations to take quality CS education to the students of government schools across Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Telangana.”The ubiquitous nature of computer science has made it a critical skill in the employment landscape. Early access to computer science education will go a long way in providing India’s youth the opportunity to build their best future,” Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India said at a virtual event. He noted that through AFE, Amazon has enabled CS opportunities for more than a million young people across four countries – the US, the UK, Canada and France. In India, the new initiative will primarily focus on students in grades 6-12, and will also train teachers and educators to teach computer science in a more engaging way.

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