Rich Indians more likely to buy Bitcoin; think cryptocurrencies are good investments

Following Bitcoin, Indian super-rich is more inclined towards Ethereum and Ripple.

Rich Indians more likely to buy Bitcoin; think cryptocurrencies are good investments
It happened again in mid-June, and Bitcoin hit its 2019 high of $13,851 just three days later. Overall, Bitcoin is up more than 220% this year. (Reuters)

India’s wealthiest population is more likely to invest in a Bitcoin than other cryptocurrencies as the country’s high-net-worth individuals believe digital currencies are good investments. While real estate is the preferred investment asset for the super-rich in India, according to a Hurun India report, the Indian super-rich have also mulled making an investment in cryptocurrencies. About a tenth of the respondents surveyed by Hurun said that they will invest in digital currencies in the next three years, making it the fourth most preferred asset for investment in future after real estate, stock and fixed income.

However, with a majority of 30%, Bitcoin has more followers on its side than other currencies. Following Bitcoin, Indian HNIs are more inclined towards Ethereum and Ripple. Only about 6% of respondents said that they will invest in other cryptocurrencies. A whopping half of the Indian wealthy also said that they were not aware of what cryptocurrencies are. “Nearly half of the respondents said they don’t know much about virtual currency. Among those who were educated about it, mentioned their preference to invest in Bitcoin (29.15%); the next 8.74% prefer Ethereum and 6.80% would like to invest in Ripple,” Hurun report said. Recently, Facebook-fame Mark Zuckerberg had also announced a cryptocurrency by the name Libra, which is expected to be rolled out in 2020. 

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In India, the government has been largely wary of cryptocurrencies and recently, it informed the Supreme Court that an expert panel has recommended a complete ban on private cryptocurrencies in India. The government will also table a Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019 in Parliament in the next session. Previously, an inter-ministerial committee had said that the government must launch its own digital money. Cryptocurrencies have largely found criticism from investors and economists, globally. Many advanced economies have been trying to regulate digital currency and in some of them, cryptocurrencies are subject to money laundering laws and can also be taxed.

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