In the past month, the country's three funded bitcoin trading platforms - Zebpay, Unocoin and Coinsecure - have registered a surge in new users willing to experiment with the cryptocurrency as an alternative asset class.
This new fondness for bitcoins traces a cascade of global uncertainties that began with the British referendum in June to exit the European Union and leading to a weak Chinese yuan, Trump's win and Modi's crackdown on untaxed money.
All that and the precariousness of the local gold and real estate markets in the wake of India's demonetisation drive have made bitcoins seem a surer bet to investors, even those with a somewhat delicate appetite for risk.
Zebpay the Ahmedabad based bitcoin wallet and exchange, has raised seed funding from a few individual investors, added 50,000 new users in November, higher than its typical monthly average of 20,000 new users.
In India, only a few companies, mostly large e-commerce firms, accept bitcoin payments, and that too as indirect transactions made through the exchanges. So for most users, a bitcoin is an investment vehicle similar to gold.
India has about 20 bitcoin startups, of which merely three have secured funding - ZebPay ($1 million), Unocoin ($1.5 million), and Coinsecure ($1.5 million).
What Are Bit Coins
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency which are not’t printed, like dollars or Rupees but created and held electronically. These are often called the first cryptocurrency and can used to buy things electronically. Bitcoin was introduced on 31 October 2008 by an unidentified programmer under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin’s most important characteristic which makes it different to conventional money, is its decentralisation. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. This puts some people at ease, because it means that a large bank can’t control their money.
Conventional currency has been based on gold or silver. But bitcoin are based on mathematics.
Around the world, people are using software programs that follow a mathematical formula to produce bitcoins.