Bharat has the highest number of cryptocurrency owners in the world. The US-based brokerage platform BrokerChooser has put the number of Bharatiya owners at 10.07 crore.
The cryptocurrency has been gaining massive popularity in the last three-four years.
In comparison, the total number of registered stock investors with the BSE is about 8 crores. The number was seven crores in June this year.
“The digital assets have caught everyone’s attention not only because it has emerged as the best asset class of 2021 but also because other asset classes are not able to fulfill the aspiration of the smart investors who want their money to grow in tandem with global growth rate”, business newspaper Mint quoted Shivam Thakral, CEO, BuyUcoin, a cryptocurrency exchange.
The world’s most famous cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, although it’s still not legal in many countries. It has gained more than 50 percent since the start of this year.
Initially, the scepticism about cryptocurrency was very high. In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), through a circular, banned transactions in cryptocurrencies, following which the banks cautioned their customers not to use their accounts to deal in cryptocurrency.
In March 2020, the Supreme Court struck down the RBI circular. As a result, the interest in the virtual currency grew manifold.
The interest in the cryptocurrency can be gauged by the fact that Bharat’s largest stockbroker, Zerodha, has been overtaken by some of the country’s popular crypto platforms in the number of users. Zerodha at present has over seventy lakh users against 1.1 crore at CoinSwitch Kuber and eighty three lakh at WazirX.
The report noted that the United States had maximum crypto related searches at 69 lakhs, followed by Bharat at 36 lakhs.
Not surprisingly, many of the crypto users in Bharat are from the Tier 2 & 3 cities.
“India’s crypto market is witnessing high trade volumes not only from the metro cities but from the entire country. Trade volumes from smaller cities show a high level of penetration of digital assets in India and with post-pandemic recovery, retail and institutional investors are looking for high returns on their investments, it looks like digital assets have become their choice to beat inflation," Mint had quoted Jay Hao, CEO, OKEx.com, a global crypto exchange.
Putting all scepticism to rest, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in August this year that the bill on cryptocurrency was ready and was waiting cabinet’s approval.
The RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had said there was no difference of opinion between the government and the RBI and people should wait for the final decision from the Union government.
“More clarity from the government around crypto is the need of the hour and the entire digital asset industry is looking forward to an inclusive and growth-oriented crypto regulation bill in India," Mint quoted Thakral.
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