Bitcoin flourishes in India, despite China’s cryptocurrency crackdown | Business Standard News–16.09.2017

The bitcoin is in a tailspin, but that is not stopping a growing number of enthusiasts in India from trading in it
After months of driving past a tiny, Maharashtrian restaurant in the upmarket and hip neighbourhood of Indiranagar in Bengaluru, Shashank (name changed on request) finally makes his way in. An independent writer, Shashank’s visit to this eatery, Suryawanshi, is instigated by a friend who craves misal pav, but that’s not served during lunch, they are told. Their trip is instead rewarded with Kohlapuri curries, sol kadhi and peru (guava) ice cream.
A board behind the counter announces that Suryawanshi, besides customary methods, also accepts payment in bitcoins. When their bill comes, Shashank’s friend asks him to use his bitcoins, but Shashank hesitates. “Why spend the money that in all probability will be of more value in future than it is now?” he says.
His confidence is unshaken by the news that the bitcoin is on a sharp downslide in India after a crackdown by China on cryptocurrencies. What’s more, it is falling faster here than anywhere else in the globe. It hasn’t helped that a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official also recently trashed the digital currency. RBI Executive Director Sudarshan Sen said that they are “not comfortable” with non-fiat cryptocurrencies. (Fiat currency is government-backed legal tender.)
According to Zebpay, an app-enabled Bitcoin wallet provider, the value of the cryptocurrency in India has plummeted from a little over Rs 3.40 lakh per unit on September 2 to a little over Rs 2 lakh on September 15, with constant fluctuations. But then, only two months ago, a bitcoin was valued at about Rs 1.8 lakh.
Such erratic upheavals are not new to the bitcoin. Those who resiliently continue to trade in it are aware of this. And, they have past instances to back their tenacity. For example, between December 4, 2013 and December 18, 2013 — within a fortnight — the bitcoin had plunged by 54.5 per cent. And then it had, as suddenly, skyrocketed — shooting up by 82 per cent between December 18, 2013 and January 6, 2014.
One of the strongest criticisms against bitcoins is its volatility. But that’s precisely why this is the time to invest, because the prices may shoot up after 2017, feels Mumbai-based techie Akshay Haldipur. The 30-year-old is one of India’s first bitcoin millionaires.

via Bitcoin flourishes in India, despite China’s cryptocurrency crackdown | Business Standard News

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