NEW DELHI: Even while investors await the official ruling on cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Indians are exceeding the rest of the globe in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
A study conducted by the portal BrokerChoose's annual crypto proliferation index reveals that India has the most crypto owners in the world, with over 10 crore, followed by the United States and Russia.
India has the fifth-highest rate of cryptocurrency owners as a percentage of the population, at 7.3 percent. Ukraine leads the index with 12.75 percent of the population, followed by Russia with 11.91 percent, Kenya with 8.54 percent, and the United States with 8.37 percent.
The survey also looked at online searches in different nations to see how interested people are in cryptocurrency.
India had the second-largest number of overall crypto searches (almost 36 lakh) in the past year, while the United States had the greatest number (69 lakh).
In August of this year, India was placed second out of 154 nations on Chainalysis' 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
India's market gained 641 percent in the past year, based on a methodology that calculates the total bitcoin received by a country.
"Large institutional-sized transfers of bitcoin worth more than $10 million comprise 42% of transactions sent from India-based addresses," according to the research, which also suggests that India's cryptocurrency investors are part of larger, more sophisticated organisations.
It's worth noting that bitcoin, the world's most popular cryptocurrency, has already risen by more than 50% since the start of the year. The one-year rise is about 400 percent, which is encouraging more Indians to use cryptocurrency exchanges.
A survey conducted by by Kantar, 19% of urban Indians aim to invest in virtual tokens in the next six months. When it comes to cryptocurrency ownership, Bitcoin takes the lead with 75% of the vote, followed by Ethereum with 40%, Binance coin with 23%, and XRP with 18%.
One of the most appealing aspects is the possibility of making large gains by investing little amounts of money. WazirX allows investors to invest as little as Rs100-500 in bitcoin.
The majority of Indians who hold cryptocurrencies are between the ages of 21 and 35 and live in metropolitan areas. According to the poll, the owners have a "greater risk appetite," since they choose crypto and mutual funds to fixed deposits and life insurance.
So it's not unexpected that crypto exchanges and platforms like CoinSwitch Kuber (CSK), WazirX, CoinDCX, ZebPay, Unocoin, and BuyUcoin have seen a surge in popularity in recent months.
Zerodha, a cryptocurrency exchange, has over seven million users, compared to CoinSwitch Kuber's 11 million. WazirX has a population of 8.3 million people.
Despite the scepticism among potential users about the use of cryptocurrency in comparison to actual money, Unocoin has introduced deposits via UPI wallets in Indian rupee for a speedier top-up to use the platform to buy and sell Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies
CoinSwitch Kuber raised over $260 million from a group of investors in a Series C investment round last week, valuing the company at $1.9 billion.
Indian crypto start-ups received 73 percent more funding in the first six months of calendar 2021 than they did in the entire year of 2020, shows data from Tracxn. NASSCOM report titled 'Crypto Market in India,' more than 60 percent of Indian states are becoming crypto tech adopters, with the industry expected to reach 241 million dollars in India by 2030.
However, cryptocurrencies have yet to be acknowledged as legal tender in the country, and there is no legal structure or regulatory framework in place.
Currently, the ball is in the court of the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
A bill on cryptocurrency is expected to be introduced in the winter session. The finance ministry has also reportedly formed a new committee to investigate whether crypto-trading profits may be taxed.
Meanwhile, by the end of 2021, the RBI plans to launch its first official digital currency as a regulated "central bank digital currency (CBDC)." Much of the scepticism derives from the fact that the global bitcoin boom has given rise to a plethora of phoney trading platforms.
The total amount of capital for global blockchain startups reached a record $6.586 billion in the September quarter, nearly double that raised in 2020, thanks to major investors warming to crypto and other digital assets, according to market intelligence platform Blockdata.
Elliptic, a bitcoin analytics business, raised $60 million from SoftBank and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital on Monday.
To help with financial crime compliance, the organisation tracks the movement of cryptocurrencies on blockchain.
In May, a Brazilian bitcoin money management firm raised $26 million from investors including SoftBank Group Corp, and in July, the SoftBank Latin America fund invested $200 million in 2TM Group, the digital asset group that owns the cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin.
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