Does GTRIs cryptocurrency-based suggestions for WTO strike the right cord for global e-commerce space – The Financial Express

What do we know, and what have we learned?

Market-based studies have shown that cryptocurrencies provide online retailers with additional payment options. Its believed that the influence of cryptocurrencies on e-commerce can ensure economical transaction expenses, as they dont need the presence of third-party mediums. Furthermore, cryptocurrencies can provide e-commerce platforms with other benefits such as transactions through encrypted wallets, diminishing fraudulent transactions, and increased privacy between buyers and sellers. As per a survey conducted by HSB, 36% of US-based small to medium businesses have started allowing cryptocurrency-oriented payments. Insights from the survey also found that 59% of the same kind of businesses aim to legalise cryptocurrency-based payments in the future.

In the last couple of years, weve seen different brands inculcate cryptocurrency-backed payments for online transactions. In March 2021, PayPal, a financial technology company, unveiled its Checkout with Crypto to permit US users to make online payments towards online retailers using crypto tokens. Furthermore, Expedia, a travel technology company, collaborated with Travala, a crypto-based travelling booking company, to allow payments for more than 700,000 accommodations and hotels using over 30 cryptocurrencies, along with eBay, an e-commerce company, also giving out a statement that they can start accepting cryptocurrency-based payments in the future.

In recent times, the main point of discussion is considered to be GTRIs report, which has upheld the need to add cryptocurrencies in the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) e-commerce discussions. Going by the report, it has emphasised how an increase in cryptocurrency concerns can affect the prevailing WTO e-commerce scenario, and that talks must be held to categorise them as electronic transmissions. I think cryptocurrencies should be added to the current WTO negotiations on e-commerce. Adding cryptocurrencies to the negotiations should help to ensure that they are treated fairly and consistently across different jurisdictions. This can create a more favourable environment for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in e-commerce. It is also important to note that the WTO has agreements that are relevant to cryptocurrencies, Shrikant Bhalerao, co-founder and CEO, Seracle, a blockchain technology company, specified.

How can WTO policies and cryptocurrencies coexist?

According to WTOs definition of e-commerce, its classified as the production, distribution, sale, or delivery of goods and services using electronic means. Based on what GTRI has suggested in the report, WTO associates are expected to put more importance on cryptocurrency-oriented discussions under the two present e-commerce negotiations, namely Joint Initiative on E-commerce (2019) and WTO E-commerce Moratorium, to prevent disputes. Market reports suggest that since 1998, WTO associates have entered into a consensus of not applying customs duties on electronic transmissions, which are defined as payments done through electronic means. In that context, experts have justified the use of cryptocurrencies in the e-commerce industry.

Given cryptocurrencies impact on the global e-commerce landscape, GTRI believes that cryptocurrencies and its exchange as tender for the trading of goods and services electronically warrant its inclusion given the rapid adoption and preference to use cryptocurrencies globally. The exchange of cryptocurrencies due to its electronic transmission should qualify it as an e-commerce transaction and hence needs to be included in the ongoing WTO discussions, Roshan Aslam, co-founder and CEO, GoSats, a Bitcoin rewards application, highlighted.

Moreover, the report has also stated that the addition or removal of cryptocurrencies, along with the positions of certain countries, will be crucial in shaping upcoming international e-commerce policies. It is predicted that an increase in digital shopping prospects will lead to cryptocurrencies playing a more crucial role in shaping purchasing decisions. Data published by the Cryptocurrency Adoption and Consumer Sentiment Report revealed that roughly 13% of crypto users invested in cryptocurrencies for facilitating online transactions, about 38% who invested because of their interest in the technology. Market reports have shown that cryptocurrencies will find their way extensively into e-commerce due to the presence of open API mechanisms and website plugins. As e-commerce grows, cryptocurrencies should stand on the threshold of becoming an important enabler of digital transactions. The speed of global acceptance of all cryptocurrencies proves that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, Aslam concluded.

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Does GTRIs cryptocurrency-based suggestions for WTO strike the right cord for global e-commerce space - The Financial Express

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