Still Unregulated, Bitcoin Trade From India Jumps in Global Market
While the Indian government scrambles to make sense of cryptocurrencies, those who know its potential are stocking up quick.
According to data from a Bitcoin trade analyst, Chris Burniske, trades from India accounted for 10 percent of global cryptocurrency trade in the past month.
Burniske tweeted a chart tracking cryptocurrency trades that show India accounted for 16,754.76 coins by trade volume. Check out his tweet.
It’s not hard to see why. Bitcoin is easy money and can easily be used for payment without going through too many legalities or regulations. The value of Bitcoin in India has soared from about Rs 1,10,000 per bitcoin a little over a month ago to Rs 1,90,000 today.
Mushrooming Coin Wallets and Exchanges
Unocoin, a Bitcoin wallet start up, is trying to make payment in this cryptocurrency mainstream. Another popular bitcoin wallet is ZebPay, which has seen a spike in downloads recently.
There are a number of startups that have opened Bitcoin wallets in India, making it easy to buy Bitcoin in INR.
You can send this money abroad at the click of a button and convert it to any currency. And vice versa — you can get paid in Bitcoin and convert that to INR by directly transferring it to your bank.
An entire transaction can take under 30 minutes, which is much faster than some electronic bank transfers.
However, for the majority of India, dealing in cryptocurrency is still a very nascent concept. There are Indian coin exchanges such as Coinsecure, and global ones such as Remitano, which make it very easy to buy and sell Bitcoin, much like you would buy shares on the stock market.
Actually, it is even easier as these are all apps, which just need a couple of clicks to complete a transaction.
No Rules Governing Cryptocurrency in India
A committee of finance ministry officials, IT ministry officials, NITI Aayog, and Reserve Bank officials, is working on a report on whether to regulate and legalise virtual currencies in India.
The committee's report is expected by the end of July, after which the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) may be asked to step in to regulate transactions.
Meghan Naik, a professional blogger, has been taking payments in Bitcoin. “Bitcoin makes it far easier to transact as it can easily be converted to any currency. Also since the Indian rupee is devalued quite a bit against Bitcoin, if a client sends me $100 worth of Bitcoin, I actually make about $110 worth,” he says.
Naik is one of the early adopters of cryptocurrencies. He says that although Bitcoin is the one in the limelight, there are others such as Steemit that are growing even faster.
The virtual currency rush is just taking off.