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Over 50pc Indians don’t want cryptocurrencies to be legalized

Published : Sunday, 28 November, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 135

NEW DELHI, Nov 25: Seventy one per cent of Indians have low or zero trust in cryptocurrencies while over one in two Indians do not want cryptocurrencies legalised in the country but for RBI to roll out India's own digital currency , according to an opinion poll by LocalCircles.

The survey showed that 54% don't want the government to legalize cryptocurrencies but instead to tax them like a digital asset held in a foreign country while 76% want cryptocurrency ads to be put on hold till there is regulatory clarity. These findings were based on a survey of 56,000 people in the last 15 days.

Panic selling: The results of the poll were released on the day crypto investors resorted to panic selling after the government listed a bill to regulate cryptocurrency and ban all private cryptocurrencies, while allowing an official digital currency by the RBI. The dollar-linked stable coin tether (USDT) slumped 25% to almost Rs 60 on Wednesday after news of the bill while several exchanges had to face deposit and withdrawal challenges due to the high volume of selling.

Earlier this year, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said the central bank may pilot a digital currency by December.
Crypto boom in India: Industry experts claim that India's digital currency market is estimated to have grown from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 Billion in April 2021. But Das says the number of crypto users in India is exaggerated and that roughly 70-80% of users only have small balances of Rs 500-1000. Though there is no official data available on cyrptocurrency holdings and the user base, industry estimates suggest there are 1.5 crore to 2 crore investors in India. Private firm BrokerChooser had recently put the user base count at over 10 crore. India has 15 cryptocurrency exchange platforms, including CoinSwitch Kuber, Zebpay, WazirX, UnoCoin and CoinDCX. And these exchanges have been booming in the last couple of months. For instance, in October alone, WazirX witnessed a 167% jump in trading volumes, while CoinDCX recorded a 200-300% spike. Crypto startups like CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber have also raised record amounts of capital-and became unicorns this year. In fact, top investment firms have poured in over half-a-billion dollars in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space in India this year.

More than half want India to roll out its own currency: As per the survey, families of 87% of the respondents do not have anyone trading or investing in cryptocurrencies. "About 26% say they should be legalised and then taxed in India," LocalCircles said in a release. "The study also finds that 51% of the respondents support India rolling out its own digital currency which is managed by the RBI while 26% are against the same. This indicates that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would be a more trustworthy investment," it added.

No advertisements please: In the recent T-20 cricket world cup, 1 in 3 advertisements were of cryptocurrencies, with platforms and exchanges trying to attract viewers. 74% of the respondents thought that the current advertisements do not highlight the risks involved effectively. On regulation of advertisements, only 5% respondents were in favour of continuing cryptocurrency platform advertisements as is while 76% want advertising to be on hold till regulations are ready.    -Times of India

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