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Beginner’s guide to cryptocurrency and 5 things to know before investing in them

The first act of “purchasing” between humans dates back hundreds of years to what historians refer to as the barter system. One person exchanges a good to obtain something of significant value from a second person; this was how transactions happened in the early days. There was no concept of currency and the barter system reigned supreme. The history of bartering dates back to 6000 BC. Introduced by Mesopotamian tribes, bartering was adopted by the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians bartered goods to those located in various other cities across oceans.

Years passed and humanity grew more complex with each passing day. And with the emergence of complexity and majorly diversified needs, the concept of currency was born. And the rest, as they say, is history.

From coins made of gold and silver, all the way to crisp green banknotes, humanity has come a long way since the curtains closed on the barter system. So much so that there is a new type of currency now, a kind which you cannot even hold!

Unless you were living under a moss-covered boulder, cryptocurrency is a term that would have made its way to you, even if you didn’t go looking for it. What is it exactly? It may sound complicated but isn’t when broken down. Cryptocurrencies are digital assets— that can be used as investments and for online purchases. It is secured by cryptography and with the help of the blockchain infrastructure, it’s nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Furthermore, each coin of cryptocurrency consists of a unique line of program or code. This means that it can’t be copied, which makes them easy to track and identify as they’re traded.

As mentioned before, cryptocurrency doesn’t exist and is not something you can keep in your wallet and hope to spend. Well, not in your physical wallet at least. Yes, there are e-wallets now too. And soon, we will all be in the Metaverse, but that’s a topic for another day! Coming back to the intangible currency, certain aspects of the currency are extremely important to know and comprehend. Firstly, they are not backed by a central authority such as a government. Instead, they run across a chain of computers. It is exchanged from peer-to-peer on the web without a middleman. Furthermore, cryptocurrency is a decentralized form of currency, meaning no government or bank manages how they’re made, what their value is, or how they will be exchanged. All crypto transactions are secured by cryptography which only allows the sender and intended recipient of a message to view its contents and take further actions. These cryptocurrencies can be stored in a digital wallet, which would enable its user to access them anywhere and at any time. The wallet can be accessed by a private key found with the user, which is essentially the crypto equivalent of a super-secure password— without which the crypto owner cannot access the currency. Also, cryptos are stored on the blockchain,  and the private key is required to authorize transfers of those coins to another person’s wallet.

There is a myriad of cryptocurrencies on the planet such as the more popular Bitcoin,  Litecoin, Polkadot, Chainlink, Mooncoin, Shiba Inu, Dogecoin, etc.  Currently, more than 6,000 coins exist, as per CoinMarket.

When it comes to purchasing crypto coins, it is similar to the stock market with the existence of exchanges and brokers who act as facilitators. These exchanges often charge a fee or commission for each transaction. There is a multitude of exchanges out there, with each different from the other, and offer their discounts, awards, and even signing on bonuses to attract more and more crypto coin buyers. Some of the top crypto exchanges in India are — WazirX, CoinDCX, Coinswitch Kuber, and Unocoin—users have to sign up with their KYC credentials, download the app, and buy cryptocurrency. These exchanges also help you to monitor the value of cryptocurrency and buy or sell it.

With all the basic information out of the way, let us focus on the main factors to be considered before actually investing in cryptocurrencies:

  1. Do THOROUGH research before buying cryptos

Just as is with any kind of investment, buying cryptos comes with its caveat. And with the upsides, some pitfalls accompany them. One must be fully aware of what they are getting into, before investing.  Don’t go off what the social media “experts” say.  This is true for pretty much everything on the internet but is especially important when it comes to cryptocurrency since it lives solely in the digital space and millions share their opinions on the same daily. Consider all this as just noise and focus on what exactly you want to do with cryptocurrencies.

  1. Cryptos are risky

The thought of getting rich quickly with cryptos is enticing, to say the least, but this market is extremely, EXTREMELY volatile and there is the ever-present danger of losing all your money overnight. Non-professional investors should only invest an amount they’re willing to lose.

  1. Cryptos may fail

Just as in any market out there, cryptos are also susceptible to unforeseen failure. Given the dynamic nature of it, the chance of failure is almost skewed towards failure. With thousands of entrants in the market, and new offerings emerging, not all will last. It is always wise to invest in the more popular form of cryptos such as Bitcoin since they are relatively more stable and profitable compared to overnight sensations. A good example of crypto crashing overnight is when Elon Musk Tweeted that he does not own any amount of the SHIB cryptocurrency. The same, which had overtaken DOGE coin previously, crashed seemingly minutes after his Tweet went live and witnessed a 20% retracement in just two hours after Tesla chief Elon Musk’s announcement. A simple Tweet is all it took for the crash to happen.

  1. Cryptos may vanish altogether

Now the entire ecosystem of cryptocurrency is largely supported by the blockchain. Now, this is not a physical institution like a bank, holding the resources but is rather an open-sourced software that helps thousands of users forgo the middleman. The blockchain also keeps track of every single crypto transaction that occurs daily. Since cryptocurrencies are virtual and lack a central storehouse, an account balance can be wiped out. For example, a computer crash without a backup could destroy a stash of cryptocurrency. If a user loses the private key to their wallet, the cryptocurrency they own is unrecoverable. Scammers can also hijack someone’s mobile account by impersonating an account holder. Thieves contact the carrier and request that the user’s SIM card be transferred to a new device. This gives scammers access to cryptocurrency accounts. It’s incumbent upon investors to keep track of their private key and use a wallet from a well-established firm. Professionals also suggest backing up your cryptocurrency private keys and using strong passwords.

  1. Cryptocurrencies are slowly but surely gaining traction

Unlike the Indian Rupee in your wallet, cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by a central bank or a government. And this was the case, for the longest time and not just in India. Cryptocurrencies have no tangible fundamental factors with which to help derive an appropriate valuation. Whereas you can look at the earnings history of a publicly trading stock to estimate its worth, or the economic performance of a country about GDP growth to value a currency like a dollar, digital currencies have no direct fundamental ties. This makes valuing cryptocurrencies in a traditional sense especially difficult, proving near impossible at times.

That being said, Governments around the world are slowly beginning to grasp just how important cryptocurrencies could be for the future and are aware of an impending change in the way the world views and uses cryptocurrency. It is no longer a niche digital asset used by those who know it but is now widespread enough to warrant Governments passing bills and setting up laws in its wake. Case in point, India’s Budget 2022 witnessed the official acknowledgment of cryptocurrencies by the Indian Government.  The Government has proposed that a transaction involving any of the cryptocurrencies will be taxed at 30%. The new law further states that no deduction except the cost of acquisition will be allowed and no loss in the transaction will be allowed to be carried forward. One important caveat here is the fact that this amendment will come into effect only from 1st April 2023 and will accordingly apply to the assessment year 2023-2024 and following subsequent years.

In conclusion, although cryptocurrencies are still largely unregulated (and their use as actual currency can be limited), there is a growing sense that a door has been opened to a vast number of new opportunities and technologies. We may be on the verge of a paradigm shift that would seemingly change how humanity transacts in the future.

Read | At Home

COVID-19 | Social Distancing and Isolation – The New Normal

 

Yes, we are in the midst of a Pandemic, one of the most difficult times we have ever witnessed! The world is struggling, and India is reeling under the impact of a lockdown. Our lives seems to be revolving around battling Corona, Work From Home. Virtual Teams, Con Calls, Zoom, Webex, Facebook, Instagram, TV News, Movies and the list is endless.

Internet is the most precious thing in the world, but only next to groceries, food and vegetables. Your mood and happiness index depends on the speed of the internet, everything else has faded in the background.

‘Work from Home’ has resulted in most of us managing work and home-work and guess no one has been spared from cleaning, doing dishes, laundry. For that matter, we finally seem to have the time to take care of elders and spend time with our spouses and children like never before. Time to be guilt-free! Many of us may feel ‘Work from Home’ was a myth, and do look forward to getting back to the real office, retrieving long-lost files from your documents folder, attending face to face meetings and noisy discussions; but I guess what we miss the most is the people connect and the camaraderie we shared.

Welcome to the club!  Empathy rules the world and finally, we are all on the same page.

TAFE as a people’s organization during this crisis has stood by its values and demonstrated through its actions how much it values its employees and its stakeholders. Employee safety was the topmost priority on the list and you can tell by the methodical manner the plants were shut down and the way our salaries were paid ahead of time that ‘People Matter’ to TAFE. Every action was laced with care and concern and this stood out like a shining beacon of hope.

Our Management and Leadership are going beyond the call of duty to help the TAFE team tide over this crisis. It’s important now than ever before to stay connected as a team and walk together.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.

Sunitha Subramaniyan
Head – Corporate Communications
TAFE

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Engineer of the Year Award for RA Armstrong

 

The SAE India Foundation has chosen RA Armstrong from TAFE – R&D Team, for the Engineer of the Year Award 2019-20. The award was presented to him by Dr. Richard Greaves, Past President, SAE International, on February 10, 2020 at New Delhi, in recognition of his outstanding achievement as Automotive Engineering Professional and his contributions towards organizing various competitions and other activities for students that have helped in the overall development of engineering academia, for SAE India and SAE SIS for over a decade.

 All of us at TAFE congratulate Mr. Armstrong on receiving the award and take pride in his remarkable achievement!

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TAFE’s Sembiam Plant Wins Industrial Safety Awards from the Government of Tamil Nadu

 

The Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health, Government of Tamil Nadu, awards companies excelling in Industrial Safety under Textiles, Metals, Engineering, Transport and Miscellaneous categories. In an event organized recently, TAFE’s Sembiam Plant received four Safety Awards in the Engineering category, for the assessment years 2014 and 2015. Dr. Nilofer Kafeel, Minister for Labour, Government of Tamil Nadu, presented the awards to the winners.

For the year 2014, in Group ‘B’ that included Factories which have worked between 5 to 10 lakh manhours per year, TAFE’s Sembiam Plant stood at the 1st Place for the Lowest Weighted Accident Frequency Rate, and at the 2nd Place for Longest Accident-free Period in Manhours.

For the year 2015, in Group ‘B’, TAFE’s Sembiam factory stood 2nd in the category for Lowest Weighted Accident Frequency Rate, and in the Longest Accident-free Period in terms of Manhours category.

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J.R.D Tata – Industrialist, Aviator & Philanthropist, a pioneer ahead of his time

As we remember the legacy of Mr. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata on his 115th birth anniversary, we recall the first Anantharamakrishnan Memorial Lecture, he delivered in 1969 after receiving the first Business Leadership Award of the Madras Management Association (MMA).

The MMA-Amalgamations Business Leadership Award was instituted by our Former Chairman, Mr. A. Sivasailam in memory of his father the late S. Anantharamakrishnan, Founder of the Amalgamations Group. The award is presented once in two years to an Indian business leader, adjudged as outstanding by a panel of eminent jurors forming the selection committee. The awardee also delivers the Anantharamakrishnan Memorial Lecture at the award function.

Mr. J.R.D Tata, fondly known to his friends as ‘Jeh’ was an aviator, entrepreneur and chairman of the TATA Group. He founded India’s first commercial airline and later came to be known as the ‘Father of Indian Civil Aviation’.

The lecture was a testament to Mr. Tata’s foresight and vision. He said that public and private sector industries had obligations to the community far wider than the mere discharge of their primary functions and the formidable challenge of the seventies demanded an involvement and identification of organized industry with the life and problems of the community to which it belonged. He called upon businessmen and industrialists to set up high ethical standards through better trade practices and by seeking in new ideas and new concepts consistent with the changing values of a fast paced world.

He described the late Mr. S. Anantharamakrishnan as an individual endowed with rare qualities and said that no man did more to promote the industrial development of South India. Comparing
him with Mr. Jamsetji Tata, he said “Although he and Jamsetji Tata lived nearly a century apart, there was much in common in their approach to business and to their philosophy.”

Interestingly, the last recipient of the MMA-Amalgamations Business Leadership Award was
Mr.Ratan Tata, Executive Chairman-Emeritus, Tata Sons Ltd.

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“Yoga for Heart” – Employees at TAFE celebrate International Day of Yoga

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” says The Bhagavad Gita. Yoga, often perceived to provide physical benefits, is practiced mainly to maintain fitness and improve flexibility in the body. However, it is proven that yoga unites and aligns the mind, body and breath, making life calmer, healthier and fulfilling.

Realising the significance of this practice and the benefits it offered, the United Nations announced June 21st as the International day of Yoga and 2015 saw the inception of this annual event. “Yoga for heart” was the theme for this year, which marked the fifth International Yoga Day celebrations. With the Indian Government actively promoting this practice, the awareness among people, about the benefits of practicing this regularly, has increased rapidly.

TAFE, over many decades, has been promoting health and wellness of its employees through various sports and fitness initiatives. This year, the employees at TAFE’s Head Office celebrated yoga day by learning and performing Asanas that could be practiced regularly at their workstations. Yoga experts were invited to the office premises to guide the participants to perform the asanas in the right manner. Employees belonging to various age groups from across all departments gathered together for this event.
This celebration was a reminder for all employees to incorporate yoga in their daily routine to make life healthier and stress-free.
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TAFE Sports and Recreation Club’s Annual General Meeting 2019

TAFE Sports and Recreation Club’s Annual General Meeting for the year 2019 was held recently amidst a lot of fun-fare. This is an annual event that brings together all the club members and recognizes the winners of the various contests and tournaments that were hosted by the club that year. The new office bearers of the club took charge for the upcoming term, during this meeting. This event also witnessed various music and dance performances by the employees and an open forum was organized for all members to discuss and share their suggestions for club.

The origin of this club dates back to the year 1960, when the Former Chairman, A. Sivasailam, wished to create a recreational platform for the employees of the company. As a Chief Patron of the club, he established the ‘TAFE Club’. In the year 1968, this officially became the ‘TAFE Sports and Recreation Club’ with around 30 members being part of it. Our Chairman Ms. Mallika Srinivasan took over as the chief patron of this club in the year 2012.

Now, every year the club organizes sports tournaments, trips and movie outings among other recreational activities. 2018-19 was a key year for the club which saw over 100 new enrollments and a series of tournaments including cricket, futsal, badminton and carom. Apart from sports events, the committee also organized a movie outing and holi festival celebrations.

The club, which will witness the Golden Jubilee celebrations this year, now has over 260 members.

Read | Spotlight

“Massey 4.0” – Maha Service Camps organized across India

Massey tractors for Life! With every purchase of a Massey, customers gain a companion for life in the form of MF’s reliable and prompt aftersales service. As a testament to this, TAFE, in collaboration with its dealer network, organized its Maha Service Camp – “Massey 4.0”, this February across all the states in India.

Some of the offerings in these camps include, free washing and greasing, discounts on labor charges, extended warranty registrations, discounts on parts and oil and free servicing on major service jobs. Additionally, dealers in few states offered test drives of latest MF tractors and servicing of the farm implements.

Apart from MF Tractors, this camp also gave an opportunity for the customers to get their other branded tractors serviced by TAFE’s technicians.

This unique and thoughtful initiative, which was highly appreciated by the customers, provides them with best-in-class service for their tractors, empowering them to be our partners in our journey of ‘Cultivating the World’.

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TAFE Participates in CII Event in Myanmar

TAFE participated in a recently held exposition organised by Confideration of Indian Industries (CII) at Yangon in Myanmar, inaugurated by the Honorable President of India, His Excellency Mr.Ramnath Kovind. TAFE was one of the key participants at the event, that showcased the prowess of Indian organisations and industry.

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Mr S Sriraman, Senior Vice President – R&D, TAFE, Chief Guest – Graduation Ceremony of Coimbatore Institute of Engineering and Technology

The 13th Graduation Day of Coimbatore Institute of Engineering and Technology, Velliamalaipatti, Coimbatore, affiliated to Anna University  was on 30th September 2018. Students numbering 496 from disciplines of Engineering & Technology received their degrees. This included PhDs, as well as 6 medalists for their top performance at Anna University.

 

Mr Sriraman, Senior Vice President – R&D, TAFE was the Chief Guest and had the honors of awarding the successful students their certificates in presence of Dr. Chinnaraju, Director, CIET; Dr. P Natarajan, Academic Director, Kovai Kalaimagal Educational Institutions; Dr. Nagarajan, Principal, CIET.