Crypto News: In Indian cities and towns, a generation is rushing to embrace cryptocurrency

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Cryptocurrency News
Cryptocurrency News

In hundreds of India’s small towns and cities, a generation that has never heard of stocks or bonds is flocking to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Solana. The average age of CoinSwitch Kuber’s 11 million users is 25, and 55 percent of them come from outside of huge metropolises like New Delhi or Mumbai.

Millennials and Generation Z are increasingly accepting digital tokens, bringing the industry out of the shadows. This is a far cry from 2018, when the cofounders of a crypto exchange were briefly detained by police for daring to set up a kiosk in a Bangalore shopping mall where people could exchange their Bitcoin for cash. Trading has been increasingly public and obvious in recent years.

Something has already happened for CoinSwitch, which began as a global aggregator of the finest real-time pricing for digital currencies. Because India’s monetary authorities had directed banks not to entertain customers who dealt in virtual money, the budding enterprise was unable to compete on its home ground in 2018. The restriction was only abolished by the Supreme Court in March of last year. CoinSwitch, which launched its app in June, has amassed 11 million users in just 16 months. Investors took notice of the firm, which just became the first in the country to raise $1.9 billion in funding from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz.

also read Crypto News: How Banks Are Trying To Cash In On The Cryptocurrency Boom

After becoming mainstream in such a short period of time, the sector is now calling for regulation. “We’ve decided to bare our faces,” explains one of CoinSwitch’s three cofounders, Ashish Singhal. “Even if regulation hurts our business in the short term, it’s preferable than operating in a grey area with little confidence and little room for expansion.”

Fears of being blacklisted have been circulating since a court decree last year resurrected the ailing sector. However, that threat is dissipating. While Beijing stated unequivocally last month that it intends to eliminate all virtual currency transactions, the belief is that New Delhi will be hesitant to take such a drastic step.

However, the industry’s optimism originates in part from the notion that policymakers have been persuaded of the economic benefits of blockchain-based innovation. As described by Balaji Srinivasan, formerly the chief technology officer at Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange, India should embrace the growing field of decentralised finance to close a $250 billion funding gap for small and midsize businesses and build a Wall Street for all on the internet.

“As a country, we missed internet 1.0,” Singhal says. “We provided Google and Microsoft with world-class people, including their current CEOs, but we did not create those titans.” We can create some global behemoths with blockchain.”

Despite this, authorities, particularly the central bank, are concerned about the widespread acceptance of crypto trading. CoinSwitch isn’t the only company using celebrity endorsement to boost sales in the run-up to Diwali, the traditional gold-buying season. Officials recently met with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan to advise him of their concerns about his brand-ambassador arrangement with CoinDCX, another Indian crypto exchange, according to Bloomberg News.

Though it’s too late to try anything more drastic, the current speculative fervour may use some taming. It wouldn’t be fair to Generation Z investors to close off a whole asset class. According to Sharan Nair, CoinSwitch’s chief business officer, they’ve “grew up on the internet.” “Many are techies like us who enjoy giving code to the crypto industry to solve problems.” What can they do as shareholders if they don’t like the bank’s website?”

According to a survey by data analytics firm Kantar, 83 percent of urban Indians are aware of digital currencies, although only 16 percent hold them. Many more want to – crypto’s allure is now equal to that of mutual funds, a product with which older generations are significantly more accustomed. This gives an idea of how investor portfolios might appear in the future: Digital assets and traditional financial products are mixed together. India’s crypto economy isn’t going dark again, even without the reflected light of Bollywood stars.

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