Slowly but surely, the Bitcoin revolution is catching on in India. Cryptocurrency analyst, investors, geeks, and enthusiast all saw Bitcoin’s value rise in the previous week. However, the most significant watcher was the Indian government who was debating about whether or not to legalise the currency. In the end, the Indian government decided to analyse the value of the coin further. This decision is expected to increase India’s financial inclusion and adoption of cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the government also decided to seek public opinion regarding public’s willingness to embrace cryptocurrencies by using their official forum. It is evident the Indian government, while reserved, is willing to change its mind regarding the value of the Bitcoin market.
Most of the Indians that have participated in the state forum have voiced their willingness to see Bitcoin included in the Indian financial system. But they have also expressed several anxieties.
● Terrorist Financing
● Government demonetisation
The biggest concern revolves around using Bitcoin as a money-laundering tool, and as a way to finance terrorist organisations. CEO and co-founder of Bitxoxo, Hesham Rehman, understands the concern expressed by his fellow Indians. He tells Forbes: “There is nothing corrupt about cryptocurrencies—they enable direct transactions with no third-party intervention.” He carried on explaining that the blockchain is a ledger that cannot be damaged or partially deleted.
The government expressed worries about the volatility of the currency, as well as the inability to control its price or volume. The former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, dismissed these concerns by telling Forbes that Bitcoin will be safer and more stable over time. That will lead to normalise transactions and a regularised economy.
Regardless, Indian Bitcoin companies are cautious about the increase in Bitcoin users. As of this writing, there are roughly 600,000 Bitcoin users in India. Most of that increase in usage comes from an increase in internet connectivity. It is also due to the appealing nature Bitcoin as alternative investments.
If the number of Bitcoin users is to increase, then Indian Bitcoin companies have to keep providing better and more reliable platforms for trading. Currently, Forbes reported that most Indian Bitcoin companies have introduced or are introducing several security checks. These include valid ID proof, government-verified address documents, Aadhaar number, Permanent Account Number or even bank account details. These changes are proving to be effective. In 2013, Bitcoin was not popular throughout the country. But thanks to the implementation of these changes, the numbers of users have increased significantly. Moreover, the growth has also been helped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation policy.
The combinations of these two events make the future of Bitcoin in India quite promising. Bitcoin companies are eager to increase the number of goods and services where the cryptocurrency is allowed. This move occurred with the hope that the government will agree to legalise the coin and let the market expand fully. This expansion will, if possible, will seek to address the massive Indian unbanked population.