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The Hindu Vocabulary 02nd Jan 2018

The money trail: on the need for investor awarenesss on cryptocurrencies

The Finance Ministry’s warning to potential investors in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has come at a time when a new, seemingly (उचित रूप में) attractive investment area has opened up that few have enough information about. The price of bitcoin, the most popular of all cryptocurrencies, not only shot up by well over 1000% over the course of the last year but also fluctuated (उतरना चढ़ना) wildly (बेतहाशा). One of the main reasons for this volatility (अस्थिरता) is speculation (अनुमान) and the entry into the market of a large number of people lured (प्रलोभन) by the prospect (संभावना) of quick and easy profits. The government’s caution comes on top of three warnings issued by the Reserve Bank of India since 2013. Investment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies increased tremendously (प्रचण्ड रूप से) in India over the past year, but most new users know close to nothing of the technology, or how to verify the genuineness of a particular cryptocurrency. A number of investors, daunted (भयभीत करना) by the high price of bitcoin, have put their money into less well-established and often spurious (अवैध) cryptocurrencies, only to lose it all. Even some private cryptocurrency operators in India have gone on record saying that as many as 90% of the currencies are scams.

The use value of cryptocurrencies — both as a medium of exchange and as a store of value — is still being explored. Global tech firms such as IBM are developing their own cryptocurrency platforms to speed up cross-border transactions in a secure and transparent manner. At the same time, countries like South Korea and the U.S. are intensifying (तीव्र करना) regulatory scrutiny ( छान-बीन) of the market. South Korea, where bitcoin became something of a craze, recently proposed legislation to either heavily regulate exchanges or ban them. In the U.S., in November, a court ordered a popular cryptocurrency platform to hand over information related to 14,000 accounts to the Internal Revenue Service, undermining (अवमूल्यन करना) the anonymity (अनामिकता) the digital currencies offer. In all this, India must be careful to differentiate between cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology they are based on. Cryptocurrencies may or may not emerge as a useful tool, especially since the government may not want to encourage the proliferation (प्रचार) of anonymous, non-fiat currencies as its anti-black money fight intensifies. But blockchains, basically digital ledgers (खाता-बही) of financial transactions that are immutable (अपरिवर्तनशील) and instantly updated across the world, are worth looking at as aids to ease doing business. They have the potential to greatly streamline payment mechanisms and make them transparent. As Ajay Tyagi, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, said, blockchain technology is useful and should not as yet have regulatory oversight. The inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrencies will take a call on their future. Meanwhile, the government is correct in underscoring the ‘caveat’ (चेतावनी ) in caveat emptor.


1. Seemingly: to all outward appearances
Synonyms: evidently, ostensibly, ostensively, presumably, putatively, apparently, supposedly
Antonyms: implausibly, impossibly, improbably, incredibly

2. Fluctuated: to pass from one form, state, or level to another
Synonyms: change, mutate, shift, snap, vary
Antonyms: plateau, stabilize

3. Wildly: to a great degree
Synonyms: achingly, almighty, archly, awful, awfully, badly, beastly, blisteringly, bone, colossally, corking, cracking, damn, damned, dang, deadly, desperately, eminently, enormously, especially, ever, exceedingly (also exceeding), extra, extremely, fabulously, fantastically, far, fiercely, filthy, frightfully, full, greatly, heavily, highly, hugely, immensely, incredibly, intensely, jolly, majorly, mightily, mighty, monstrous [chiefly dialect], mortally, most, much
Antonyms: little, negligibly, nominally, slightly, somewhat, barely, hardly, just, marginally, minimally, scarcely

4. Volatility: liability to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse

5. Speculation: a risky undertaking
Synonyms: adventure, chance, crapshoot, enterprise, flier (also flyer), flutter [chiefly British], gamble, throw, venture
Antonyms: sure thing

6. Lured: something that persuades one to perform an action for pleasure or gain
Synonyms: allurement, bait, come-on, enticement, siren song, temptation, turn-on
Antonyms: alarm (also alarum), alert, caution, forewarning, notice, warning, repellent (also repellant)

7. Prospect: all that can be seen from a certain point
Synonyms: command, lookout, outlook, panorama, perspective, view, vista
Antonyms: incumbent, officeholder, awardee, honoree, inductee, noncandidate

8. Tremendously: to a large extent or degree
Synonyms: astronomically, big-time, broadly, colossally, considerably, enormously, extensively, highly, hugely, largely, massively, monstrously, monumentally, much, sizably, staggeringly, stupendously, greatly, utterly, vastly
Antonyms: little, negligibly, nominally, slightly, imperceptibly, infinitesimally, insignificantly, invisibly, microscopically, minutely, barely, hardly, just, minimally, scarcely

9. Daunted: to lessen the courage or confidence of
Synonyms: chill, discourage, demoralize, dishearten, dismay, dispirit, frustrate, unman, unnerve
Antonyms: embolden, encourage, hearten, nerve, steel, boost, energize, excite, galvanize, inspire, lift, provoke, quicken, rally, stimulate, stir

10. Spurious: being such in appearance only and made or manufactured with the intention of committing fraud
Synonyms: bogus, fake, false, forged, inauthentic, phony (also phoney), queer, sham, snide, counterfeit, unauthentic
Antonyms: authentic, bona fide, genuine, real, unfaked, actual, true, valid

11. Intensifying: to make markedly greater in measure or degree
Synonyms: accentuate, amp (up), amplify, beef (up), boost, consolidate, deepen, enhance, heighten, magnify, redouble, step up, strengthen
Antonyms: abate, moderate, decrease, diminish, lessen, let up (on), reduce, subdue, tone (down), weaken, dwindle, recede, subside, taper (off), wane

12. Undermining: a gradual weakening, loss, or destruction
Synonyms: attrition, erosion, corrosion, waste
Antonyms: buildup, gain, increase

13. Anonymity: the quality or state of being mostly or completely unknown
Synonyms: obscurity, facelessness, namelessness, nowhere, nowheresville, silence
Antonyms: celebrity, fame, notoriety, renown, acclaim, acknowledgment (or acknowledgement), praise, recognition, distinction, eminence, glory, greatness, honor, illustriousness, note, preeminence, prominence

14. Proliferation: the act or process of becoming greater in number
Synonyms: accumulating, accumulation, addition, increase, mushrooming, multiplication
Antonyms: abatement, compressing, compression, condensation, condensing, constricting, constriction, contracting, contraction, diminishing, diminishment, diminution, drop, drop-off, fall, falloff, lessening, lowering, reduction, shrinkage, shrinking, decrease

15. Ledgers: a book containing accounts to which debits and credits are posted from books of original entry

16. Caveat: a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices. b : an explanation to prevent a misinterpretation

17. Cryptocurrencies: A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its most endearing allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

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