In 2020, a number of publicly traded companies such as Square and MicroStrategy made headlines over buying large amounts of Bitcoin to hold as reserve assets. No Indian company has done this so far. As Bitcoin ownership grows in the US, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and even China, many Indians watch and wonder when their turn will be.
If Indian companies and individuals can get the regulatory security they need to buy Bitcoin in bulk, will the price be so high that they can only afford a fraction of what they could buy today? And who will Indians buy it from?
How much bitcoin do Indians own? According to current estimates, around 5 million Indians own or have owned Bitcoin or other crypto assets. By extrapolating the volumes on ZebPay and our partners in the Indian crypto industry, we can estimate the maximum amount in Indian wallets.
We assume that Indians own less than 1% of the world’s Bitcoin. We can safely say that Americans own well over 1% of the world’s supply. The same applies to the EU, Japan and China. There will soon be long-term haves and have-nots in Bitcoin. India has a chance to join the homes but time may be short.
The common argument against crypto is that it could be used for money laundering or other illegal activities. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, a global leader and advisor to several governments, reported that illegal activity only accounts for 1% of all Bitcoin transactions. As the Treasury Department has confirmed, the dollar is still by far the criminal’s favorite.
The risk of illegal activity must be weighed against the greater risk of being excluded from a potentially blockchain economy in the coming decades.
Recently, the World Economic Forum and the blockchain company Chainlink published a report on the integration of traditional infrastructures into blockchain technology.
By integrating the blockchain into the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, India could offer millions of farmers crop insurance with lower costs, better coordination, and greater transparency and accountability.
This is just one example of the hundreds of crowns of economic potential waiting to be unlocked if India can close the bitcoin gap and provide its citizens with access to blockchain and crypto with healthy regulation that ensures both security and innovation .
Can we just have blockchain without cryptocurrencies? Not really. Crypto tokens are the units that the blockchain works with. By investing in a project’s crypto token, employees can (often literally, by paying for the electricity) encourage the innovation the project seeks to achieve.
Across India today, hundreds of innovators are working on blockchain-based solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems. They could cut costs, reduce corruption, increase inclusion and create jobs.
Nothing is more Indian than innovation. By closing the Bitcoin gap and creating healthy regulation that encourages innovation and protects citizens, India can achieve long-term economic benefit.
As shared by Neil Borate of Vikram Rangala, Chief Marketing Officer at ZebPay
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