India fast becoming the cryptocurrency hot spot


Nearly one million bitcoin users are in India, with new figures showing that the use of cryptocurrency across the nation is rapidly rising.

India is now touted to overtake China as the world’s biggest users of bitcoin – the internet blockchain technology-based cryptocurrency phenomenon. Recently surpassing American user statistics, India now has 333 million users, behind China’s 721 million, according to the UN Broadband for Sustainable Development.

According to the World Bank, India was the world’s largest remittance recipient in 2015 and attracts close to $70 billion in remittances per year, with many Indian citizens who live abroad increasingly turning to high-level technology to send money to relatives in India.

Kumar Gaurav, the chief executive of Indian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and blockchain-based company Cashaa, said that the size of the Indian market could make bitcoin a lasting success, but that entrepreneurs would need to work to effectively integrate new digital solutions into a well-developed system.

“[We have] a huge market which can adopt technical products at a faster rate. Bitcoin is one such product,” he said.

“There are a few challenges in India such as an already well-developed central banking system which is cheaper and automated.

“To make way for cryptocurrency in India, entrepreneurs need to sell the products based on the advantages of cryptocurrency, rather than the cryptocurrency itself.”

Blockchain technology fintech Unocoin’s chief executive, Sathvik Vishwanath, agreed that there were challenges, but said that India should jump to the opportunity to pave the way forward for cryptocurrencies. He said: “This is the perfect opportunity for India to play a bigger role in the global bitcoin industry.”

“India has the largest gold, inward remittance and IT markets in the world — all of which make it a perfect home for bitcoin and blockchain technology.”