Čvn 29

Indian Exchange Says Women More Bullish on Cryptocurrency Than Men

Women in India are making larger individual investments in cryptocurrencies compared to men, according to one local exchange. However, men are leading the charge when it comes to sheer numbers.


Women are Bigger Spenders

Women have turned out to be the bigger spenders in India when it comes to cryptocurrency investments, according to a recent survey conducted by BuyUcoin – a local cryptocurrency exchange. The average female trader invests more than RS 1.4 lakh (roughly around $2,000) in virtual currencies, double the amount their male counterparts invest.

The exchange surveyed more than 60,000 respondents between March and June of this year. According to the BuyUcoin CEO Shivam Thakral, the increased amount of money women invest is tied to their average age:

Usually, woman investors who are buying or trading are over 40 years of age. Therefore, typically these mature investors are able to put in more money. […] On the other hand, more men start investing at an early age with the average age for this investor group being 30.

Nevertheless, in terms of pure numbers, men are leading the charts, with over 90% of the investors being male across the entire country.

The Local Cryptocurrency Environment

In April the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officially ordered regulated financial entities to refrain from providing their services to all businesses involved in cryptocurrency-related dealings. This move prompted an uproar within the community which resulted in swift counteractions from numerous companies involved in the field.

In May the country’s Supreme Court declined an interim injunction against the ban, responding to a coalition of petitioners comprised of startup companies and four cryptocurrency exchanges. At the time, RBI stated that the Supreme Court cannot interfere with the economic policies of the country.

Nevertheless, those affected by the cryptocurrency ban will challenge RBI’s decision on July 20. The bank has continued to receive mounting criticism over its anti-crypto stance. Local lawyer Varun Sethi, however, laid down the bank’s justification on the matter:

The RBI also responded that no committee was ever formed for analyzing the concept of blockchain before the decision.

This gives confidence to local lawyers currently representing the industry. Rashmi Deshpande, associate partner at Khaitan & Co said of Sethi’s information that the justification of the bank cements the arguments which the cryptocurrency industry is making on the matter:

The grounds on which our writ petition has been filed is that the RBI has not done enough research to ban a business completely.

What do you think of the cryptocurrency situation in India? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Atlas

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Kvě 02

Venezuela Touts Petro To India, Coinsecure With 30% Oil Discount Promises

· May 1, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Venezuela is leveraging its oil wealth to shoehorn president Nicolas Maduro’s Petro cryptocurrency into foreign markets.


Coinsecure Goes For Petro?

The practice came to light following local media in India reporting Caracas had offered a 30% discount on its crude oil imports if the government paid in Petro.

At the same time, a delegation visited India in March and came to an agreement with embattled local Bitcoin exchange Coinsecure to offer the trading of Petro for Bitcoin and rupees.

By the same token, other exchanges could interact with the coin through a white label agreement, Business Standard reported on April 29.

Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra told the publication:

That would be run by their brand name, but the back-end will be us. We plan to provide them with 10-15 cryptocurrency players.

Coinsecure Goes For Petro?

Kalra: Venezuela ‘Going To Different Countries’

Venezuela has seen mixed reactions to notionally oil-pegged Petro since issuing it earlier this year. From an outright ban by the US to calls from the international community that the scheme was nothing but a ploy to circumvent sanctions, Venezuela has courted controversy from the outset.

Separate claims involve Russia, which some say was instrumental in facilitating Petro’s creation.

Opening up alternative markets for trade thus comes as little surprise as Maduro attempts to live up to his original promise the coin’s market cap would be a least that of Venezuela’s oil reserves – around $5.9 billion.

Kalra explained:

They are going to different countries and making offers. The offer that they have given to the Indian government is: you buy Petro and we will give you a 30 percent discount on oil purchases.

Coinsecure meanwhile continues to face pressure following a hack of its reserves amounting to $3.5 million last month.

Its most recent update on April 29 seemed to imply that compensation payments for customers would soon begin, but that the exchange “doesn’t have much of a say” as investigations are still ongoing.

What do you think about Venezuela trading Petro with India? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, AdobeStock

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Dub 04

India Becoming the ICO-Marketing Hub for Crypto Platforms

· April 4, 2018 · 3:00 pm

India may be most well known for its Taj Mahal and Golden Temple. However, it is gaining a reputation in the crypto community as a place to find an extremely affordable provider of marketing services.


Marketing can be expensive, whether in-house services or outsourcing. In the fast-moving crypto world, it will also help in determining how successful your ICO will be. This in itself is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with, according to The Times of India, almost $3 billion being raised last year.

Having similar features as the good old crowdfunding business model, ICOs first rely on making their target market aware of their platform’s services before getting them to part with their hard-earned cash or crypto. This is where the marketing part comes in, and it also seems that this is where Indian marketing agencies are coming in too.

A Different Way of Marketing

More and more crypto platforms are outsourcing their ICO-marketing needs to predominantly Indian agencies. Not only do they offer a cheaper choice, these firms are also using apps like Telegram and crypto-industry-specific platforms to market these ICOs. This is quite significant as it means that these start-ups won’t have to deal with the recent bans by Google and social media giants, Facebook and Twitter.

However, even without the bans, Salim Ali does not believe that these big corporations are the way to go anyway. Ali is the CEO of Loyakk, a “blockchain-powered enterprise relationship management platform”, with an upcoming ICO. He said:

Facebook and Google AdWords hardly generate demand (for ICOs). Only a person new to the space would be googling about it.

Growing Business

Growing Business

Karnika Yashwant is the CEO of Key Difference Media, a Chennai-based marketing agency. He had this to say:

Two or three months ago, there were only a few platforms that helped in advertising. Now, a company going for an ICO will have a few hundred proposals from new marketing companies that are sprouting in India.

Yashwant has provided marketing services for 14 ICOs, most of which were led by European clients.

Saving Money

In addition to crypto community groups on Telegram,  ICO clients usually also choose to advertise through a range of crypto websites. In the case of the latter, Yashwant added:

For a banner in a cryptomedia website, you’d have to dish out $10,000 a week.

This is a hefty sum, but usually payable in fiat or virtual currency. However, even though an ICO could net millions, platform founders could be looking to save money in the initial stages, which could be why the more affordable option of Indian agencies could be so alluring.

What do you think of crypto platforms using cheaper Indian marketing agencies for their ICOs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, DepositPhotos

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Úno 01

No, India Won’t Ban Bitcoin and Will Embrace Blockchain Technology Too

· February 1, 2018 · 8:30 am

The Indian government talks a big talk when putting down Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but such actions has done little to curb their popularity.


Crypto-Not-Currency

In his annual budget speech today, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley once again made clear the government’s intention to halt the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in India, claiming the South Asian country does not recognize digital currency as legal tender. He states:

The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin, and will take all measures to curb the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or any part of payment systems.

However, Jaitley has said nothing about banning Bitcoin or cryptocurrency trading. In fact, he claims the government will instead encourage blockchain technology in traditional payment systems, illustrating that the Indian government does indeed see the value behind cryptocurrency, if not as legal tender.

A Long History of Doing Little

Bitcoin India

India is one of the largest markets for Bitcoin trading, with roughy 1 out of every 10 transactions worldwide taking place in the South Asian country.

The Indian government, however, has long been negative on cryptocurrencies—once even likening them to Ponzi schemes in a December 2017 press release that said:

Virtual Currencies (VCs) don’t have any intrinsic value and are not backed by any kind of assets. The price of Bitcoin and other VCs, therefore, is entirely a matter of mere speculation resulting in spurt and volatility in their prices. There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in Ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers losing their hard-earned money. Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such Ponzi schemes.

Still, little has been done to actually curb the trading and use of cryptocurrencies in India, outside of official statements.

The Reserve Bank of India claims to have cautioned cryptocurrency investors three times since December 2013, claiming individuals are putting themselves at financial, operational, and legal risks, in addition to compromising their security. Some Indian banks have also provisionally shut down accounts for top Indian exchanges.

Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of new Indian accounts are added to exchanges every month, and there’s little reason to assume Jaitley’s statement will have a significant effect—at least for now.

What do you think about the Indian government’s tough talk on cryptocurrencies? Do you think its claim to not recognize them as legal tender will have any effect on the market? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives

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Říj 02

Police in New Delhi Arrest Gang Robbing Bitcoin Buyers

· October 1, 2017 · 10:00 pm

A group of six individuals in New Delhi, India, have been arrested by the police for robbing people that they had convinced were buying Bitcoin with actual cash.


Just when you think it’s safe to buy Bitcoin and other digital currencies, you hear horror stories about being robbed in some sort of online scam or Ponzi scheme. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency means that those looking to get involved in it must do their due diligence and always be aware of potential risks. However, such situations are a far cry from what some people in New Delhi, India, experienced as they were robbed while attempting to buy Bitcoin from some unscrupulous people.

What Can Go Wrong Buying Bitcoin with Cash from Strangers?

Police in New Delhi, India, arrested a gang of six individuals who had targeted people interested in buying Bitcoin. The leader of the group is Aditya Rajput, who is a law graduate from Dehradun. Overall, police recovered numerous SIM cards, eight mobile phones, jewelry, and lakhs of rupees in cash (lakhs are the equivalent of one hundred thousand rupees). A spokesman for the New Delhi police described how the crimes would go down thusly:

This module used to contact interested party through phone calls and Facebook messages and convinced the buyers to deal in cash for buying the Bitcoin. Once, they convinced the buyer and called them to the designated place, the other gang members would came into action…and…would then rob the victim.

So far, the police have identified seven victims of this Bitcoin robbery scam.

Bitcoin Rising in India

It’s understandable for individuals in India to be interested in Bitcoin. The economy was thrown into some turmoil last year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to ban the two largest banknotes in the country to fight terrorism, corruption, and tax evaders. This move had a huge impact upon everyday life for Indians as the amount of money in circulation was drastically curtailed and the amount available to be withdrawn from ATMs was severely cut as well. This led to a noticeable increase in the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bollywood has endorsed digital currencies, and the government is now actually considering issuing an official Indian cryptocurrency of its own.

That being said, it does seem remarkably foolish to physically meet someone to trade cash for some Bitcoin. The person making the criminal complaint first wanted to purchase Bitcoin through a website but was lured to a meeting in a mall (from where he was then kidnapped) where he was supposed to be able to buy Bitcoin at the rate of roughly $1,100 USD per Bitcoin. One would say that getting a Bitcoin for a percentage of the current market rate would be a red flag. Having to meet someone in person while carrying at least a thousand dollars in cash to undertake the transaction should have thrown up some more red flags. However, greed often wins out, but at least those robbed did not suffer more dire consequences.

What do you think about the robberies of potential Bitcoin buyers in New Delhi, India? Would you meet with someone with a lot of cash under such circumstances? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, and Bitcoinist archives.

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