Even as speculation about an impending ban on cryptocurrencies refuses to die down, data related to Bitcoin trading and activity in India continues to reflect the positive market sentiment for crypto.
On Tuesday (December 15), Bitcoin marketplace Paxful analysed data for bitcoins traded through its platform from 2015-20 in 28 countries. According to the data, India ranks second, after China, as one of the leading Bitcoin trading countries in Asia, both in terms of the volume of bitcoins traded, and their value. From 2015-20, India traded 10,017 bitcoins worth $94.7 Mn, second only to China, which traded 20,553 bitcoins worth $181 Mn. The data is publicly available on Coin Dance.
Interestingly, of the total value of bitcoins traded since 2015, $74.9 Mn was traded this year alone, an increase of 347% from 2019. A total of 7,236.50 bitcoins were traded in India in 2020, an increase of 234% from 2019.
Brian McCabe, head of market insights at Paxful, added that “the recession caused by COVID-19 made people look for financial alternatives, earning income, moving money, etc. and saw crypto as that.”
Among the other leading Bitcoin traders in Asia, the Philippines, Japan and Pakistan occupy the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively.
In the world ranking of Bitcoin trading, led by the US with 535,660 bitcoins traded at a total worth of $3,755,463,837, India takes sixth place.
Further data from Paxful reveals that the number of bitcoins traded in India through its platform has been rising steadily since January, peaking in August, when 1039.6 bitcoins worth $12.4 Mn were traded in India. This year, with the Supreme Court quashing the Reserve Bank of India’s banking ban on cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges in India got a new lease of life. Within months of that SC judgement in March, India crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX, among several others, witnessed a spike in trading volumes and unique signups.
According to McCabe of Paxful, the spike in Bitcoin trading volume in several countries such as India could be exacerbated in the near future, if currencies of emerging countries continue to see big losses vs the US dollar (USD), a trend that has been observed amid the pandemic.
“If the pandemic continues to weaken their currencies and make the USD stronger, the money will continue to flow out of these economies and their relative debt will increase. If emerging currencies continue to experience pressure, Bitcoin could once again become the alternative if people are unable to preserve wealth in their own currency. This use case of wealth preservation is one of Paxful’s core use cases given how much of our users are in emerging markets,” he said.