NEW DELHI: There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the financial situation in India. Albeit the 500 and 1,000 Rupee notes are now illegal, that does not mean they are useless. Consumers can exchange them at 70% of face value at exchange offices. That said, the interest in Bitcoin continues to grow in the country, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts remain hopeful Bitcoin will dethrone cash sooner or later. While that sentiment is shared by a lot of people, it also seems highly unrealistic. In fact, there is no reason why cash and Bitcoin can't co-exist for a while. India's ban on high-denominated Rupee banknotes will not cause their cash ecosystem to collapse all of a sudden.
Things Are Changing Over In India
But it does have an impact on Bitcoin interest, as consumers are looking for alternative investment options. Together with gold and other precious metals, Bitcoin provides investors with a possibility for passive gains over time. With a limited supply of BTC available and the demand for Bitcoin growing, prices are due to shoot up at some point.
Additionally, India is a country where unbanked individuals are not difficult to come by. Millions of people have limited or no access to financial services through traditional means. This means Bitcoin can fill a need, should that ever arise. But for now, most people see cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle, and that is just fine.
At the same time, this economic turmoil indirectly creates new job opportunities. Indian Bitcoin users with a bank account can purchase cryptocurrency off an exchange, and resell it in a peer-to-peer trading fashion. It's not unlikely people will pay a premium price too, as they paid nearly US$2,300 for one ounce of gold a few days ago.
Looking over the Google Trends page, it looks like "buy Bitcoin" is quickly gaining popularity. Do not be mistaken in thinking this will make the Bitcoin price shoot up to over US$1,000 all of a sudden, though. Demand is still tiny compared to traditional markets, and there is no indication bitcoin will overtake cash anytime soon.
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