India today has over 75 lakh cryptocurrency investors who’ve collectively poured in over Rs 10,000 crore into Bitcoins, Ethereum and the likes.
Amid the boom in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, a long shadow of uncertainty looms large over India’s crypto future. Bitcoin has soared a staggering 900% over the past year as retail investors piled into online crypto trading during the pandemic. A single Bitcoin that stood at Rs 3.9 lakh on 17 March 2020 is now at Rs 41 lakh exactly a year later. However, the cheer around a Bitcoin boom has been tempered by speculation of an impending prohibition on Bitcoin and other private currencies.
While a Reuters report citing government sources has stated that the pending cryptocurrency Bill may put a complete ban on and criminalise trading as well as possession, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has indicated that the government may take a “calibrated approach” and leave a window open for experiments in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
There has been considerable fear, uncertainty and doubts within the cryptocurrency ecosystem in India and the recent reports and comments from the government still leaves several questions unanswered.
The Quint spoke with Ajeet Khurana, former CEO, Zebpay, and angel investor, about the prevailing mood among investors, the future of cryptocurrency in India, the government’s concerns with cryptocurrency and what happens if the Centre brings a bill to ban it in India?