India is slowly but steadily becoming a new global center for bitcoin, with millennials and Generation Z predominantly driving this expansion.
Importantly, the data shows that, in addition to metro areas, crypto usage has accelerated across India's Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, showing that these digital currencies are becoming more widely accepted. And this growth is taking place despite the fact that the government has yet to provide regulatory clarity on the future of digital currencies.
Right now, there is a very pleasant transition taking place. When we first started the company in 2017, we assumed that the majority of our users would be from major cities. But, as Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO of Coin Switch Kuber, points out, we were quickly proven wrong.
Most of us are familiar with Bitcoin, the world's first and most popular cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies and crypto language are becoming more mainstream than ever before, with more individuals jumping on board. On the other hand, the majority of people are uninformed of the significance of the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin.
Most people mistakenly believe that blockchain and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are the same thing, whereas in fact, blockchain is the technology that allows cryptos to exist, among other things. While blockchain technology was developed to make Bitcoin a reality, it now has far more applications. Our planet's and nation's prospects appear to be bright, with corporations, startups, and blockchain developers working on a range of blockchain use cases across industries.
With the rise of blockchain technology, the crypto industry in India is also booming. Bitcoins are quickly becoming the preferred asset class for Indians in India, where gold has long been the most popular investment. Crypto investments in India went from $923 million in April 2020 to almost $6.6 billion in May 2021, according to figures, where households own over 25,000 tons of gold. This comes amid the central bank's public hostility to cryptocurrencies, as well as a proposed trading prohibition. Experts believe that young people aged 18 to 35, many of whom are first-time investors, are driving India's crypto growth.
Despite the fact that bitcoin is still in its early stages in India, it has exploded in popularity, with a swarm of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets springing up all around. That's hardly surprising, given how even regulators have begun to recognize that technology can have a greater impact on the currency than the economics of it. The government is looking at blockchain technology for a variety of applications, including land and property registries, courts, e-stamps, transportation, and DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer).
The government's stance on cryptocurrencies has shifted dramatically over time, from the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) prohibition on cryptocurrency trading in 2018 to the Supreme Court's recent decision. Overturning of this order two years later and promises of a new cryptocurrency regulation bill. Furthermore, several talks for recognizing cryptocurrencies as an asset class are also taking place. Cryptocurrencies are classified once they pass the classification requirements.
Blockchain technology has a lot of possibilities for India, whether you're an entrepreneur, a content provider, a developer, or an influencer. As a job seeker, you'll find that this new industry has thousands of openings and is in high demand. Global IT behemoths like JP Morgan, IBM, Microsoft, and Intel are already hiring blockchain developers in big numbers. Some of the biggest Indian organizations that have included blockchain into their employment processes include Reliance Infocomm, Bajaj Electricals, Mahindra Group, and Yes Bank.
Amid the confusion put forth by the government of India and the news rules to be imposed, there is a fear that runs in the minds of all that several crytocurrency and blockchain related startups may look to move out of India. Founders of all the big businesses are planning to move the same to countries that are ready to accept and welcome this new platform such as UAE and Singapore due to the PIL and the new rules that aim to put a ban in India. The ban may not be put right away however the fear has been induced in the minds of all. Quoting data from Venture Intelligence, the newspaper reported that funding for crypto and blockchain firms in India rose 20-fold this year. Five such startups have received $8 million in calendar year 2020 and 24 companies have attracted $502 million this year so far. Speaking to the publication, Harsh Rajat, founder of Ethereum Push Notification Service (ENPS) said he would be forced to move his business out of India if the government decided to ban cryptocurrencies. Rajat, however, added that he is not keen on moving the business elsewhere as he can see a good future in India itself. If the ban wouldn’t be applied then the platforms would very much wok from here. We all need to wait till the Winter session of the Parliament to get a clear picture of the current situation. The initial description of the bill suggests that it aims to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in the country. However, speculations made by experts say that the Government may impose certain restrictions to the use of bitcoins but may not stop the same completely given the massive number of investors in the country. The hope still remains for everyone who is a bitcoin enthusiast.