Rich rewards often entail great risks, and the same is true with the highly volatile cryptocurrency market. The uncertainties in 2020 globally led to a heightened interest of masses and large institutional investors in trading cryptocurrencies, a new-age asset class. Increasing digitization, flexible regulatory framework, and supreme court lifting ban on banks dealing with crypto-based companies have parked investments of more than 10 million Indians in the last year. Several major global cryptocurrency exchanges are actively scouting the Indian crypto market, which has been showing a sustained bitcoin roulette surge in daily trading volume over the past year amid a big drop in prices as many investors looked at value buying. As the cryptocurrency frenzy continues, many new cryptocurrency exchanges have come up in the country that enables buying, selling, and trading by offering functionality through user-friendly applications. WazirX, India’s biggest cryptocurrency trading platform doubled its users from one million to two million between January and March 2021.
What’s Driving World’s Largest Crypto Exchanges to the Indian market?
In 2019, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, Binance acquired the Indian trade platform, WazirX. Another crypto start up, Coin DCX secured investment from Seychelles-based BitMEX and San-Francisco based-giant Coinbase. The crypto and blockchain start-ups in India have attracted investment of USD99.7 million by June 15, 2021, which totaled around USD95.4 million in 2020. In the last five years, global investment in the Indian crypto market has increased by a whopping 1487%.
Despite India’s unclear policy, global investors are making huge bets on the country’s digital coin ecosystem due to a variety of factors such as
• Tech-savvy Indian Population
The predominant population of 1.39 billion are young (median age between 28 and 29 years) and tech-savvy. While the older generation still prefers to invest in gold, real estate, patents, or equities, the newer ones are embracing the high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges as they are more adaptable to them. India ranks 11th on Chainalysis’s 2020 report listing for global adoption of crypto, which shows the excitement about crypto among the Indian population. Nor does the less-than-friendly attitude of the government towards crypto or rumors swirling around the crypto are able to shake the confidence of the youth population in the digital coin market.
India offers the cheapest internet in the world, where one gigabyte of mobile data costs around $0.26 while the global average is $8.53. So, almost half the billion users are taking advantage of affordable internet access, which enhances India’s potential to become one of the largest crypto economies in the world. According to SimilarWeb, the country is the second-largest source of web traffic to peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform, Paxful. While the mainstream economy is still struggling from the “pandemic effect”, cryptocurrency is gaining momentum in the country as it provides the young generation a new and fast way of earning money.
It is safe to say that cryptocurrency might become Indian millennials what gold is for their parents!
• Rise of Fintech Start ups
The cryptocurrency craze led to the emergence of multiple trading platforms such as WazirX, CoinSwitch, CoinDCX, ZebPay, Unocoin, and many others. These cryptocurrency exchange platforms are highly secured, accessible across various platforms, and allow instant transactions, providing a friendly interface for crypto enthusiasts to buy, sell, or trade digital assets limitlessly. Many of these platforms accept INR for purchases and trading fees as low as 0.1% so simple, fast, and secure platforms present a lucrative opportunity for both first-time investors and local traders.
WazirX is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms with over 900,000 users that provides customers with peer-to-peer transaction capabilities. CoinSwitch Kuber provides the best cryptocurrency exchange platform for Indians and is ideal for beginners as well as daily doers. Unocoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in India that account for over a million traders through mobile applications. CoinDCX provides users with 100+ cryptocurrencies as an option to make exchanges and even provides investors with insurance to cover losses in case of a security breach. So, global investors are eyeing the plethora of cryptocurrency exchange platforms in India to take advantage of the emerging market.
• Mixed Government Response
The legislative bill regarding a ban against a virtual currency that would criminalize anyone engaged in possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transferring crypto assets might get enacted into law. However, Finance and Corporate Affair Minister Nirmala Sitharaman eased some investor’s concerns saying that the government has not planned to completely bar cryptocurrency use. In a statement given to a leading English newspaper, Deccan Herald, the Finance Minister said, “From our side, we are very clear that we are not shutting all options. We will allow certain windows for people to do experiments on the blockchain, bitcoins, or cryptocurrency.” It is evident that the government is still scrutinizing the national security risks posed by cryptocurrencies before deciding on putting a complete ban.