Bitcoin in India

In 2018, Bitcoin finally reached double digits and celebrated a decade of existence. In that time frame, it has gone from a misunderstood entity to a global phenomenon, born from a chain of emails that has become more than its creators could have ever dreamed.

 

However, Bitcoin is still one of the most divisive and controversial inventions known to man. At its all-time high, each Bitcoin fetched nearly $20,000. While Bitcoin is steadily gaining popularity and acceptance throughout the world, not all banking systems are embracing it wholeheartedly. Some have even gone as far as to limit its usage. One such bank is that of India.

Bitcoin “Banned”

Talk of Bitcoin in the Indian parliament became especially heated when one politician claimed that the cryptocurrency was a “pyramid Ponzi scheme.” This far-fetched assertion eventually led to much discussion throughout India’s governing body, culminating in a major decision from the national bank. The Reserve Bank of India decided to take matters into their own hands and make a radical proclamation that shook the cryptocurrency industry of India to its core.

In April of 2018, the Reserve Bank of India asked all banks in the country to no longer work with companies that dealt in Bitcoin. This decision also meant that banks would cease to clear Bitcoin transactions. This decree was especially interesting because it did not ban Bitcoin altogether, as users can still trade, buy, sell and mine it, but it did make it almost impossible to work within the larger scheme of the economy. Many Indian news outlets falsely claimed that this proclamation banned Bitcoin in the country. Owners of Bitcoin were not required to give up their currencies, but they were unable to convert them to Rupees through bank processes.

 

Positive Change 

However, luckily these harsh restrictions may be coming to an end in the new year. The Reserve Bank of India received harsh criticisms for its decisions in April and was taken to court. This may have also been influenced by a petition from the Indian Bitcoin community that garnered over 10,000 signatures in just a matter of days. 

As a result, the government was asked to draft a counter-affidavit, which would outline the country’s Bitcoin policy. To do this, a Finance Ministry panel was set up. The policy they will develop presumably will set rules and regulations in place to allow the country’s residents to use Bitcoin with limited restrictions. It is the Finance Ministry’s responsibility to ultimately determine the norms of Bitcoin usage in India. This policy is still being adjusted. While this draft was supposed to have been completed by July 2018, it has been delayed and likely will not be finished until March 2019. 

Indian Bitcoin Companies 

One of the premier Bitcoin mining companies in India is Bitcoin India, which is a hosted mining company that offers its own pool. Zebpay and Unocoin, two other prominent Bitcoin companies in the region, have suffered some losses from the Reserve Bank of India’s decision, but they remain optimistic. They have faith that the Finance Ministry will make the right decision for the future of India’s economy.

Other Bitcoin companies that operate in the area, such as WazirX and Koinex, have continued to rely on peer-to-peer trading in an effort to disregard the Reserve Bank of India’s decision. They will both help facilitate trading by storing Bitcoins until payment is confirmed. These transactions are occurring completely outside the realm and jurisdiction of the Reserve Bank of India, so they are completely legal. 

While WazirX and Koinex are quite happy to engage in peer-to-peer trading, Zebpay and Unocoin are wary of the technique. Peer-to-peer trading is helpful, but it is not without its risks. The market is constantly changing, so it is difficult to regulate prices. Some firms fear that users will buy Bitcoin but not pay for it until the market price of the coin rises, so they are not paying the seller the full value they are owed, thereby inflating the market. While peer-to-peer trading may not be fool-proof, it is helping the industry get through this period of uncertainty. 

Bitcoin Mining in India 

Bitcoin mining requires large amounts of electricity, which is why many miners travel far and wide to countries where this cost can be mitigated as much as possible. Based on the average electricity price in the country, the average cost of mining one Bitcoin in India is $3,724.

This figure is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the world. The most expensive place to mine Bitcoin is South Korea at $25,170, while the cheapest is Venezuela at $537. With Bitcoin’s current trade value coming in well above $3,724, those who choose to mine Bitcoin in India could make a substantial profit.

Engaging With India 

While India still has some things to figure out when it comes to the future of Blockchain in their nation, that does not mean that Indian Bitcoin holders cannot engage with the future of the industry. With great progress being made toward widespread acceptance of Bitcoin, the future of cryptocurrency in India is looking bright. 

Indian Blockchain users can still attend conventions now in preparation of when the restrictions are lifted. They can keep up-to-date with the latest trends, so that they do not fall behind. Everyone can come together and join Tokenomx to meet industry leaders from all over Asia. 

Asian Cryptocurrency Conferences

Tokenomx is one of the most widely respected cryptocurrency conferences in Asia. Their Battle of the Blockchains will occur this February in Bangkok, Thailand. Heading off with a great evening of cocktails and networking, the focus of the conference is two-action packed days of presentations and exhibitions. 

These conference days help Bitcoin users from all over the continent connect with each other and learn about the latest developments in the industry. Tokenomx’s conference, along with dozens of others in the region that occur each year, are vital to the successful future of Asian cryptocurrency.

 

TOKENOMX

Battle of the Blockchains

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27-28th February, 2019

The Athénée Hotel BKK — THAILAND

Preregistration Mixer on the 26th!

EARLY BIRD tickets available NOW


    26th February: Pre-registration Networking and Cocktails (all ticket holders)

  • Speaker Dinner (VIP Plus ticket holders only)

  • 27th February: Conference Day 1 (all ticket holders)

  • VIP Party (VIP Plus and VIP ticket holders only)

  • 28th February: Conference Day 2 (all ticket holders)

  • Official after party (all ticket holders)

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