The Bitcoin Boom in India: Bollywood and Beyond
4th August, 2017
Bollywood is seeing a Bitcoin boom. Celebrities like Shilpa Shetty, Raj Kundra, R. Madhavan, Huma Qureshi Neha Dhupia, Vir Das, Nargis Fakhri, and Prachi Desai have all been expressing enthusiasm for it. They are fascinated with the cryptocurrency concept, and positive about Bitcoin’s growth potential, judging by the hubbub on social media. In particular, “bitcoin guru” Amit Bhardwaj’s new book, Cryptocurrency for Beginners, has fueled excitement.
“Looks like they all want to grab the opportunity to learn and trade in Bitcoins,” Bollywood News observed of the celebrity trend.
Everyday people – getting in on the Bitcoin boom
Of course, India has been in the midst of a Bitcoin boom overall. The increase in usage was greatly accelerated by the government’s demonetization efforts. As Bollywood News noted, “According to MSN, there are approximately one million Bitcoin users or enthusiasts in India alone, from all walks of life. People have discovered a new piece of technology that can help anyone do business and transact better.” True. Bitcoin is particularly beneficial to India’s many small business owners, since it offers a way to lower costs and mitigate risk.
The Indian government has formed an interdisciplinary committee to work out how to regulate Bitcoin, with the aim of fully legalizing it in the short term. The fact that the government is taking Bitcoin seriously is quite significant. According to Cointelegraph, “The legalization of Bitcoin in India is expected to further increase trading volumes and Bitcoin activities in India by significant margins.”
Just today, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remarked on the “notable growth” in the bitcoin market in India over the past few years.
With over 1.2 billion people, India has the second-largest population in the world after China – where Bitcoin is already huge. Both countries are fertile ground for the widening use of Bitcoin. The sheer gravitational pull of their combined total of about 2.5 billion people ought to move the needle.