Cryptocurrency aficionados are winning the mantra that Bitcoin is equal to digital gold converted among the world’s largest holders of precious metal.
In India, where families have more than 25,000 tonnes of gold, investment in crypto swelled from about $200 million to about $40 billion over the past year, according to Chain analysis. That is despite outright hostility towards the asset class from the central bank and a proposed trade ban.
32-year-old entrepreneur Richie Sood is one of those who wander from gold to crypto. Since December, he has put in just Rs 1 million ($13,400) – some of it has borrowed from his father in bitcoin, dogecoin and ether.
And he has been lucky with his time. He cashed in on part of his position when Bitcoin broke through $50,0 in February and recently bought back after the fall, allowing him to fund foreign expansion of his education startup study Mate India.
Sood said, “I should put my money in crypto as compared to gold. “More than gold, crypto is much more transparent and returns are higher in less time.
It is part of the growing number of Indians – now selling more than 15,000,000 total purchases and digital coins. that is catching up with 23,000,000 traders of these assets in the US and compared with just 2,300,000 in the UK.
India’s growth is coming from an 18-35-year-old platoon, says the co-founder of India’s first cryptocurrency exchange. The latest world gold council data indicates that Indian adults below the age of 34 are less hungry for gold than older consumers.
“It is easy to invest in crypto than gold because the process is very simple,” said Sandeep Goenka, who co-founded ZebPay and spent years representing the industry in discussions with the government on regulation.
One of the biggest obstacles to preventing widespread adoption is regulatory uncertainty. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a 2018 rule banning crypto trading by banking entities, resulting in a surge in trade.
However, the authorities showed no signs of embracing cryptocurrency. The country’s central bank says there are “major concerns” about the asset class and six months ago the Government of India proposed a ban on the trade-in digital coins – though there has been silence on the issue since then.
Government hostility however means many big individual investors have been reluctant to talk openly about their holdings. Bloomberg, a banker, spoke to an investor investing more than $1,000,000 in crypto assets, with no clear income tax rules currently he was concerned about the possibility of retrospective tax raids if he was publicly known as a big-ticket crypto investor.