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Younger Indians prefer cryptocurrencies to traditional gold

Younger Indians prefer cryptocurrencies to traditional gold
Despite the steps taken by the Indian government to severely restrict digital assets, investments in cryptocurrencies in the country reportedly surged from $200 million to around $40 billion in 2020 alone.

The number of Indians who opt to buy and sell digital coins has been increasing in recent years, and reportedly now exceeds 15 million.

This figure is rapidly catching up with the 23 million traders of cryptocurrencies in the US, and is much higher than the modest 2.3 million crypto-investors in Britain. Among Indian households – which, between them, own over 25,000 tons of gold – the growth of investment in digital currencies is reportedly coming from the 18-to-35 age group. Indians aged under 34 are not focused on investments in gold as much as older consumers are, according to the World Gold Council.

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“They find it far easier to invest in crypto than gold, because the process is very simple,” Sandeep Goenka, the cofounder of Zebpay, one of the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency trading apps available in India, told Bloomberg.

“You go online and you can buy crypto – you don’t have to verify it, unlike gold,” the expert added.

Nonetheless, regulatory uncertainty in the country is currently posing a major barrier to wider adoption. Last year, the Supreme Court overruled a 2018 regulation barring crypto-trading by banking entities, resulting in a surge. However, earlier this year, unnamed sources cited by Reuters said the Indian government was considering new legislation that would criminalize the possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transferring of crypto-assets.

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The value of Indian digital asset holdings reportedly remains the second-biggest in the country’s market, which has traditionally been dominated by gold. A year ago, daily trading in the four biggest crypto exchanges surged from $10.6 million to $102 million, according to CoinGecko.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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