Today’s Cache | Factors pushing Bitcoin to all-time high explained; Cabinet approves corpus for AI infrastructure; ECI RTI portal faces emergency maintenance

Updated - March 08, 2024 08:35 pm IST

Published - March 08, 2024 02:00 pm IST

Today’s Cache | Factors pushing Bitcoin to all-time high explained

Today’s Cache | Factors pushing Bitcoin to all-time high explained | Photo Credit: REUTERS

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Factors pushing Bitcoin to all-time high explained

Bitcoin broke its previous price record to hit a new all-time high of $69,170.63, according to the CoinMarketCap live tracker. The last high was $68,789.63, which Bitcoin achieved in November 2021. After this event in 2021, the coin crashed to multi-year lows and the crypto market was battered by company collapses and regulatory hits. The market is recovering from the shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that started in 2022, as well as the collapse of cryptocurrencies LUNA/UST and the subsequent fall of trading platforms such as FTX that same year. In addition to a market recovery, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), approved the first spot exchange traded funds (ETFs) for Bitcoin. This move told cautious investors as well as financial institutions that the regulatory landscape was perhaps beginning to open up, and it encouraged more traditional investors to explore the world of blockchain-based assets.

Cabinet approves corpus for AI infrastructure

The Union cabinet approved a ₹10,371.92 crore corpus to fund Artificial Intelligence computing infrastructure and start-ups in the AI space in India. This corpus would be used to provide viability gap funding, subsidising projects that may face steeper costs for setting up data centres and other such facilities in India. The funds will also contribute to application development for government use. The corpus represents the Union government’s largest direct investment into AI in particular, even as efforts to bring more semiconductor fabrication, design and assembly facilities are underway. The corpus will be disbursed through the India AI Mission launched last year. “In the Artificial Intelligence area, the progress and solutions from India will be strengthened,” Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said announcing the corpus. “Graphics Processor Units will be made in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode,” Goyal added.

ECI RTI portal faces emergency maintenance

For much of this week, the Union government’s RTI Online portal, for filing Right to Information applications to central government bodies, has been undergoing ‘emergency maintenance,’ preventing applicants from retrieving their filed applications conveniently. Meanwhile, it emerged that the Election Commission of India (ECI), which maintains its own RTI portal, patched its systems to fix an issue exposing RTI applicants’ personal data, a security vulnerability that was disclosed by security researcher Karan Saini to the news portal TechCrunch. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) coordinated with the ECI to resolve the vulnerability, it told TechCrunch in a statement, adding that it had fixed the issue since. Election Commission’s RTI portal had been facing issues accepting payments through its payment gateway. While the payment gateway is now working and applications are going through, the accepted methods have been limited to net banking and credit/debit cards.

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