1. Is Bitcoin legal in India?
On the whole, Bitcoin's legal status in India is not too positive. While not officially banned, India’s finance minister has stated that the government does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency. Moreover, banks are closing accounts that are suspected for being involved with Bitcoin.
The bottom line: While it is still possible to buy and hold Bitcoins in India, you are risking the closure of your bank account. Also, it would be hard to trade or use them for anything within the country.
2. How popular is Bitcoin in India?
Considering the size and population of India, it has the potential to be a huge market for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s popularity in India is growing, with trading volumes in 2018 being 85M, comparing to 2017’s 72.5M. Interest in Bitcoin in India is presented below by Google Trends, with the search term Bitcoin spiking between August ‘17 – March ‘18, and then going into a slump, possibly due to Bitcoin’s price drops.
4. India-based Bitcoin exchanges
There are a number of Indian Bitcoin exchanges, with the more popular ones being regulated and require ID verification.
The leading Bitcoin exchange in India, Unocoin was established in 2013 and allows users to buy Bitcoin with any Indian bank account. Backed by investors in the United States, Unocoin is a regulated company in India and offers low 1% fees which fall to 0.7% with increased trading volumes. It’s an easy Bitcoin exchange to use, but it does require ID verification.
Koinex is an Indian-based digital assets trading platform. The platform allows you to buy BTC, as well as other cryptocurrency, with Indian Ruppes (INR). One of Koinex’s unique features is that after completing the KYC, you are provided with a dedicated deposit bank account to which you later link your bank account as a payee. You can then fund and withdraw from this account directly.
Koinex’s trading rules can be read here.
As can be seen, Bitcoin’s status in India is a bit on the downside. With the government banning the use of Bitcoin as a currency and Zebpay shutting down, things seem pretty grim. As long as the government’s (and the banks by extent) hostility towards Bitcoin will continue, it is hard to see a more widespread adaptation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general in India.
Know of additional ways to buy Bitcoin in India, or have experience with the ones we’ve mentioned above? Let us know in the comment section below.