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Indians keep buying crypto despite a proposed government ban



16 Apr, 2021


Quite recently, the Inter-Ministerial Committee [IMC], which was formed to understand crypto and recommend regulations in India, suggested a ban on all private cryptos. This was followed by change of rules notified by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs asking for mandatory disclosure of Crypto Assets and Income on books of all commercial entities.

Speculation and rumors then peaked that a nationwide blanket ban on cryptocurrency was imminent and that holders would be given a matter of months to dispense with their coins and tokens.

These fears were somewhat addressed and soothed out when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman as well as Minister of State (Finance) Anurag Thakur, cleared the air about the alleged ban on cryptos like Bitcoin. While talking about the crypto bill that is yet to be introduced in the parliament, Thakur noted that the government was considering the issue pertaining to digital assets with an open mind and nothing’s been decided yet.

Boosted with Crypto Adoption news by bigwigs like Tesla, MicroStrategy, Square, PayPal, Visa, along with spectacular bitcoin bull run, crypto interest and trading too has shot up. Then came, leading American crypto exchange Coinbase announcing a recruitment drive in India with a view to basing some of its IT and engineering services in the country.

All of these culminated into quite expansive growth and acceptance of Crypto in India. On April 4, WazirX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India crashed due to excessive traffic. The platform witnessed a business volume of $270 million in 24 hours before it crashed. This was for the first time that WazirX, which was founded in 2018 and taken over by Binance in 2019, witnessed a trading volume of $200 million. The platform witnessed another milestone when it reported trading to the tune of $350 million on the next day April 5.

Publicly available data reveals visits to WazirX’s website have increased 630% in the past six months, climbing from around 500,000 to over 4 million monthly visitors. Most of new sign-ups are users aged 20–30, implying that people were confident regulators would take a lenient approach when cryptocurrency laws are eventually passed.

Another Indian crypto exchange, CoinDCX, saw its sign-ups double in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the final months of 2020. The trend was similar over on CoinDCX, which has seen its visitor numbers more than treble since November 2020. There too, the majority of new sign-ups also fell under the 18–34 age range.

Currently, there are over 750,000 investors in India and more than 340+ crypto startups that have come into existence since March 2020. Additionally, the trading volumes have grown over 500%, post-March 2020.

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