Negotiations on a ban do not scare investors away; cryptocurrency exchanges have seen a fivefold increase in the number of new users
A potential ban on cryptocurrencies has failed to dampen investor interest in digital currencies, as some of India’s leading crypto exchanges have seen new users increase up to five times during February. According to the CEOs of some of the leading exchanges, the recent sharp rise in bitcoin and support from the head of Tesla Inc. Elon Musk was more than usual due to an increase in the number of subscribers on their platforms.
CoinSwitch Kuber, which launched its exclusive crypto platform for India in June 2020, has seen a roughly 139% increase in new users in the first week of February over the same period last month. The company, which has about 30,000 users in India, has seen a similar jump in trading volumes over this period.
We’ve seen an increase in the number of new users in the last 15 days or so. The main reasons are price increases and Tesla news causing a huge wave. The excitement has actually resumed, said Ashish Singhal, CEO and co-founder of CoinSwitch Kuber.
Traffic on Indian exchanges temporarily declined a few days earlier this month after the government on January 29 listed a bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether in India. We did see a sale for two days during the budget period, but after that everything was back to normal, said Nishal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, which has 15,000 users.
The number of registrations on WazirX increased fivefold during February compared to January. The crypto exchange, which had trading volume of about $ 1.4 billion in January, has already surpassed $ 1 billion in the first 10 days of this month. Overall, February volumes could be three times higher than January, and this will be due to huge price increases, Shetty said.
January turned out to be smooth, but February was a great month for us. We peaked around February 8th when we were attracting about 25,000 users a day, said Shivam Takral, CEO of BuyUcoin. The crypto exchange, which has about 400,000 users in India, added about 4,000-5,000 users per day in February.
In the first 15 days of this month, BuyUcoin added 86,827 new users versus 29,535 subscribers in the same period last month, witnessing a threefold jump. Despite the recent surge in new users, industry professionals believe that growth would have been much higher if there weren’t overly concerns about the cryptocurrency ban.
I would expect several thousand users every day, but now we see 800-1000 users. Probably, if there were no account confusion, we would have seen at least 2.5 times more customers, said Satwik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin, which has about 13 lakh users.
The experts also said that in addition to the influx of new users, early investors are also holding their positions. Investors remain in place, awaiting the final bill because, according to media reports, even if there is a general ban, long-term and short-term investors will have enough time to close their positions, Singhal said.
According to industry estimates, there are currently around 10 million Indians owning cryptocurrencies worth around Rs 10,000.
Most of the industry professionals Mint spoke to hope that there will not be a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in India. There are more than 340 startups in the crypto space in India, employing tens of thousands of people directly or indirectly. This has not happened in recent history, when the government wiped out property worth Rs 10,000 crore, Shetty said.