If you’re a Bitcoin user in India, then this particular news affects you the most. The digital currency has gone for a toss in the South Asian country, figuratively of course. According to a report in the Economic Times (ET), Bitcoin is falling much faster in India than elsewhere around the world. The value of the currency in the Indian subcontinent has declined from Rs 2,29,417 per unit on September 2 to hit a low of Rs 3,40,116 on September 15, indicating a dive of 33 per cent in less than two weeks, as per Zebpay data.
The shakedown is a result of China’s aggressive crackdown on cryptocurrencies and a public remark by an Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official shunning the digital currency.
Sharing about the future of Bitcoin, Bitcoin expert Hitesh Malviya talked to ET and said, “Bitcoin as a protocol will evolve, but most people forget the simple fact that it is a protocol, and money happens to be first application of this protocol. Monetary aspect of bitcoin will face regulations in most countries. The future of bitcoin as currency will be more controlled and regulated by governments which will eventually reduce the volatility. It will devise a new method of payments for websites, social media and freelancers.”
When it comes to the India, there’s an ongoing debate about whether digital currencies like Bitcoin should be regulated or not. While the government’s stance on the matter is still unknown, the Bitcoin industry in India is in favour of having a self-regulatory body.
Claiming to be India’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Zebpay began its official journey in 2015 when it launched itself as a Bitcoin wallet. Though the founders initially expected people’s interest in India to be low, but they were pleasantly surprised at what they saw. In May this year, Zebpay announced that its app has reached the milestone of five lakh downloads, and is now adding more than 2500 users every day. As of today, the app has had more than seven lakh downloads.
Earlier this week, we reported how RBI’s Executive Director Sudharshan Sen had trashed the digital currency at a Mumbai event saying, “Fiat will be when the Reserve Bank, for example, starts issuing digital currency which you can carry in cyberspace, you don’t have physical currency in your pocket.” He further added, “As regards non-fiat crypto-currencies, I think we are not comfortable.”
Though one cannot say how close is RBI’s opinion to Sen’s opinion on digital currency. One can say that there might be some difference of opinions as RBI, which started the year by issuing a notice to the users of virtual currencies in the country and urging them to be extra cautious while engaging in any digital currency-related activity, recently formed a group that is focusing on working out a process on how cryptocurrencies can be made a legal tender in the country.
Bitcoin came under severe criticism recently when BTCChina, one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges in the world, announced that it would shut down all trading activities on its platform from this month’s end, after the regulators clamped down on cryptocurrencies.
This was followed by a statement from JP Morgan’ boss Jamie Dimon stating that Bitcoin is actually a fraud that will ultimately blow up. Speaking at a conference in New York, the head of leading global financial services firm and one of the largest banking institutions in the United States said that the digital currency is only meant to be used by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.