The rapidly rising use of Bitcoin in India, with thousands of users adding it to their wallets with each passing day, seems to defy the growing skepticism over the leading cryptocurrency elsewhere. The value of one bitcoin is equal to Rs 2,33,264 according to ZebPay — a platform in India where Bitcoin can be traded.
Bitcoin now has a presence over five lakh Android devices and is adding more than 2,500 users every day — in India alone. Bitcoin waded into the Indian market on a large scale post demonetisation on November 8 last year, in which Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were scrapped, and the country reeled under shortage of cash in circulation. We take a look at what all can you buy with just one Bitcoin.
You can get supply of sandwiches for over 13 years at your office! One Bitcoin can buy you around 4,665 plates of cheese sandwiches costing at Rs 50 per sandwich. If you are a “work hard party harder” kind of a person then one Bitcoin can get you an year-full supply of booze. It can fetch you about 1,500 bottles of Budweiser light or Bira White costing at Rs 150 per bottle, which means your refrigerator will never run out from beers if you liberally gulp down four bottles every day.
Not only this, it can fund your luxury foreign travels as well, along with your partner. In the value of one Bitcoin, you can avail a decent 10-day honeymoon in Gulf city of UAE — Dubai, including round trips by Etihad Airways. Interestingly, you can buy two units of the newly launched iPhone X, priced at Rs 1,02,000 in India, for a couple in the value of one bitcoin.
If you are a little more ambitious, and have a big enough wallet, five Bitcoins can get you a luxury sedan, while for 25 to 30 Bitcoins, you can buy an inexpensive 2 BHK apartment in the suburbs of New Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata.
Concerns over Bitcoin
The rising use of Bitcoin has forced the authorities to sit up and take note of the unregulated digital currency, and as expected, most are not comfortable with it. Just earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of India’s Executive Director Sudarshan Sen said that the central bank is not comfortable with “non-fiat” currencies such as Bitcoin. Non-fiat currency refers to a private currency. Instead, RBI is looking at issuing “fiat” cryptocurrencies, which could be an alternative to the rupee, he added.
In another incident, the rapidly surging price of Bitcoin, without any underlying asset or value-based, seems to have irked the top banker Jamie Dimon. “Bitcoin is a fraud and will blow up,” Jamie Dimon said at an event in New York this week, adding, “The currency isn’t going to work.” He pointed out to the absence of an underlying monetary base to support its value. “You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” Jamie Dimon said.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system. It is commonly called a decentralised digital currency. It was invented by unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. In India Bitcoin is traded on three virtual exchanges namely Coinsecure, Unocoin, Zebpay. Bitcoin is not an official currency. According to the official website of Bitcoin, it says that most jurisdictions still require you to pay income, sales, payroll, and capital gains taxes on anything that has value, including bitcoins. It is your responsibility to ensure that you adhere to tax and other legal or regulatory mandates issued by your government and/or local municipalities.