Indian Exchanges to add more alt coins

After hitting nearly $20,000 in December, and Rs 1.5 million on Indian exchanges, prices of Bitcoin, the oldest and largest among cryptocurrencies, have tanked and are currently hovering at around $8,000 (Rs 550,000-600,000 in India). However, the rally in December also saw active trading in other cryptocurrencies such as Etherium and Ripple, which crossed the $100 billion mark in market capitalisation.

India exchanges have now started offering these smaller cryptocurrencies for trading and investments and their share in volumes is also picking up. After the Bitcoin meltdown, hard fork versions of the currency like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, and other currencies such as Etherium, Ripple and Litecoin, have started generating interest among investors.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have recently been facing issues with their current account held with banks, as the latter were wary of Bitcoin. However, those investing and trading in other currencies can continue to use their respective bank accounts registered with exchanges. Apart from mechanisms like NEFT, RTGS and IMPS, exchanges are now promoting use of UPI as well, to facilitate payment.

The share of payment made using UPI, however, is not very large in terms of volumes traded on an exchange. This is simply because there are payment limits per day and per month.UPI helps those who prefer payment interfaces over direct bank transfers because they are easier to transact on mobile phones. However, a new exchange which has launched its beta version is not depending too much on UPI and considers it only as an added means.

Some 28-30 cryptocurrency exchanges have come up in India. Two discontinued business last month because volumes were thin ever since they launched. A few exchanges did face liquidity issues when banks began closing their accounts, but they are now back on track. While trading volumes on Bitcoin as a standalone currency are down, most exchanges have started offering multi cryptocurrencies during the past one month, effectively shifting incremental volumes to the newer offerings.

Posted On: Jun 01, 2018

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