Cryptocurrency trading, user signups spike in India on stable Bitcoin

OCT 06, 2022

NEW DELHI : Crypto trading volume as well as user signups have witnessed a jump of up to 45% in recent weeks because of stability in bitcoin price and a weak rupee.

Bitcoin prices have consolidated in an increasingly narrow range while global equity and bond markets continued to tread challenging ground with growing stress developing in sovereign debt and currency markets this week.

On a 30-day basis, Bitcoin is up around 2%. In the traditional asset markets, S&P 500 in the US is down 3%, while in India, the BSE Sensex is down more than 1% on a one-month basis. The markets have seen a decent spike over the past few days. In the forex market, the rupee slumped close to 3% in September.

Shivam Thakral, chief executive, BuyUcoin, said the Bitcoin-rupee trading pair is getting traction from seasoned investors. “The main reason behind this trend is the falling rupee and underperforming stock markets, which is pushing investors to digital assets. High inflation is resulting in rapid depletion of wealth and investors are looking at digital assets such as bitcoin as a store value to prevent inflationary damage to wealth,“ he said.

BuyUcoin saw 40-45% surge in the Bitcoin-rupee trading pair and 30% jump in new user sign-ups in the second quarter of financial year 2023. Crypto exchange Unocoin, too, is witnessing a similar trend.

“Compared to August, we have seen September to be a better month. User registrations per day are up by 20% and volumes are up by 40%," said Sathvik Vishwanath, the co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Unocoin.

This spike in crypto activity in India has come as a respite for exchanges, which have been battling the crash in trading volumes due to stiff crypto taxation rules and crypto winter. In the global markets, Bitcoin and ethereum are trading around 70% below their all-time highs.

The Bitcoin trading number in India varies from the global trend. Most risk asset prices and volumes are driven primarily by the global macro liquidity events. However, in India’s crypto market, the price volatility of INR-USD also impacts markets, especially USDT-INR pair.

“Generally, the Indian market has a premium of around 5% because of the lower liquidity across exchanges for various reasons. Moreover, the rupee lost about 2% against the dollar in the last two weeks, amplifying this premium and, hence, the spike in trading activity," said Mahin Gupta, founder of Liminal, a digital wallet infrastructure platform.

However, some experts are cautious about the uptick in crypto activity. Crypto trading and user signups may have risen, but it has happened on a low base, according to Sidharth Sogani, founder and CEO, CREBACO Global, a research, rating and intelligence company focused on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

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