Guess what Elon Musk, Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg, Lionel Messi, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton, Ranveer Singh, VVS Laxman and Parthiv Patel have in common? They have either invested or promoted crypto currency.
With a considerable number of public figures already investing their fortunes in cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Solana — more seem to be jumping on board with cryptocurrency for business ventures and more.
So what’s all this ‘cryptocurrency’ fuss about?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that’s encrypted, often decentralised and based on blockchain technology. [A blockchain is a public ledger of transactions that records information so it’s difficult to hack or change. Blockchain technology allows a secure way for people to deal directly with each other, without an intermediary or third party like a government or bank.]
With industry leaders and senior businessmen buying crypto, crypto is slowly becoming a mainstream investment choice. In fact, India is increasingly adopting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with over 15 million Indians buying and selling these digital coins.
According to reports, India currently has more than one crore crypto investors. The number is growing significantly every day, with several domestic crypto exchanges operating in the country. Uday Pilani, who has set up a fully regulated Crypto Exchange in Switzerland, which probably was one of the few which had ‘Fiat’, or banking support, tries to break it down for us.
“High-net-worth individuals (HNIs, a commonly used term on business channels for super rich investors) across the world are putting a small percentage of their wealth into crypto assets,” he says. “The investment itself is transparent, offering you full visibility over your money.”
According to serial entrepreneur and investor Prashant Surana Jain, with crypto, people have realised the power of having a global asset class. “And that’s really scarce and is empowering communities to build their own financial ecosystem based on their beliefs and principles, which is pretty cool,” he says.
“You don’t have to be dependent on any centralised party with decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO). You can build your own transparent, compliant governance structures that are also driven by smart contracts or data. You avoid the biggest systematic risks by placing your trust with the community and majority.”
Prashant also reveals that everyone, especially the millennial, is becoming tech savvy and is starting directly from cryptocurrencies rather than stocks. “Crypto, blockchain, etc. are the technological marvel empowering people and global communities to have a fair chance at creating wealth.”
What gets crypto-investors?
Interestingly, in a poll of the nations that use cryptocurrencies the most, India ranks second. According to Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform, investments in India increased from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in May 2021 — a 600% rise in just one year! However, the Reserve Bank of India is averse to digital currency. So what’s the driving demand for cryptocurrencies in India?
According to Uday Pilani, it’s the fear of missing out (FOMO) that’s driving the volume towards these investments today. “Some investors, who saw some ridiculous gains being made on crypto investments, want a piece of the pie,” he states.
“This is the ‘Fiat’ or hard currency investment into crypto, whether it’s an existing coin or a new project. Then, there’s a huge volume on the crypto exchange, say, by selling Bitcoin for Ethereum. And though these run into several billion dollars, these volumes are basically trades between one crypto and another — betting one crypto against another, with no real-world money being transacted.”
Allan Jackson, CMO of YUSE, a platform built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), one of the most secure fastest blockchains, also believes that industry leaders and influencers investing in cryptocurrencies also contribute to their growing acceptance rate in India.
“Most young people now see it as a means of achieving financial success. The intriguing aspect of bitcoin investment is that there is no age limit. Anyone may invest in cryptocurrency and profit handsomely,” says Allan. “The postponement of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Digital Currency Bill shows that the Indian Government cannot ignore the growing significance of digital currencies,” he adds.
Better crypto experiences
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the RBI’s ban on bitcoin has further increased adoption rates throughout India. And the astonishing rates of cryptocurrency acceptance in India have encouraged platforms like WazirX, CoinDCX, and CoinSwitch Kuber to launch social media campaigns encouraging more Indians to invest in cryptocurrencies. They’ve also created user-friendly systems to provide users with the most pleasing experience possible when trading cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, HBR, Bitcoin, etc.).
Naveen Kumar, Founder, BITSZ, a crypto exchange platform he claims doesn’t have bugs, and supports anti-money laundering, is convinced that cryptocurrencies are growing and that it’ll lead the market.
Uday further explains, “Countries just print money and extract real value from the user of the money. Crypto aims to beat that monopoly and hence we can see resistance from Governments. Crypto is a utopian concept, wherein people control the barter or transaction currency with nobody being the owner, which is a challenge to the established monetary system. The current system controls the value of the output of the population and in reality only gives notional value since the abolition of the Gold Reserve.”
However, Kartic Swaminath, an investor, issues a warning. “Indians must understand that the cryptocurrency market is volatile. For every person who has made a fortune through cryptocurrency, hundreds have lost money. To have the best chance of creating financial wealth through crypto investment, do your homework and only invest in projects with high potentials,” he warns.
Some celebs in the know
Actor Salman Khan recently launched Short Video App, Chingari’s ‘first-ever crypto token ‘$GARI’. He’s also indicated plans to be in this space. Through this, Salman Khan announced that he was entering the NFT bandwagon. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are blockchain-certified copies of real-world art, pictures, videos, music and pixelated punks that are unique.
Amitabh Bachchan joins the crypto craze as CoinDCX brand ambassador. He’ll work to raise awareness about cryptocurrency and to popularise it as an emerging asset class, the company noted.
Former cricketers Wasim Akram, VVS Laxman and Lance Klusener are among the 120 partners from the cricket fraternity to have signed up for CricketCrazy.io, the world’s first NFT marketplace exclusive for cricket. CricketCrazy.io is the brainchild of the Cricket Foundation, a Singapore headquartered blockchain-based platform co-founded by former Indian cricketer Parthiv Patel.