Bitcoin buying can be somewhat confusing for beginners…
We get that. Which is why we want to teach you how to buy Bitcoin in India, with several payment methods.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a Bitcoin exchange. These include:
- How high are the exchanges fees?
- How high are the purchasing limits?
- What payment methods does the exchange support?
- How fast is delivery?
- How good is the exchanges customer support?
Now that you know what to look for in an exchange, we will list some of the most popular options in India, allowing you to make an educated decision.
Unocoin is one of the most popular exchanges in India. In fact, their exchange is specifically designed for Bitcoin. If you want to trade other cryptocurrencies, try Unodax, their digital asset exchange.
Unocoin allows users to purchase Bitcoin via IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS bank deposits. 3-24 hours after the payment reaches Unocoins accounts, you will receive your Bitcoin.
For fees, Unocoin charges a .7% trading fee. For those looking to trade often, this fee can go down to .5% with enough volume. As far as limits go, Unocoin allows users to buy 10 BTC a day, and sell 2 BTC a day. These are pretty high limits, considering they reset every day. Similarly to fees, after enough trades are made, limits can be increased.
Zebpay is a cryptocurrency brokerage based in India. Zebpay allows users to deposit funds via RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS. There are no fees for depositing currency into the exchange, and there are .2%-.25% fees for each purchase.
For limits, Zebpay has a minimum transaction of 5,000 Lacs, and a max of 50. Per day, users with the first tier of verification can transact 1-2 crores.
Zebpay also has Android and iOS apps, making it easy to purchase and trade Bitcoin on the go.
Coinmama is another great option, specializing in credit and debit card purchases. They are based in Israel but serve an impressive amount of countries, including India.
In addition to selling Bitcoin, Coinmama sells 7 other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.
Coinmama charges 5% fees upon purchasing, with an additional 5% from their payment provider Simplex. Coinmama has very high limits, and they can be increased upon purchasing enough cryptocurrency.
LocalBitcoins is another option that uses an escrow service to allow person to person exchanges of Bitcoin. Users select amounts of currency, as well as a method. For example, I could choose to exchange 100 INR for Bitcoin, and vendors who want to provide this service for a premium are available to facilitate the exchange.
Changelly is a unique exchange, as it cuts out a step in the cryptocurrency purchasing process. On Changelly, you select an input and output currency. After selecting the two currencies, you provide a deposit address for the output currency and send currency to a provided address. The two currencies are then swapped in a quick fashion, making it easy for both parties.
Changelly allows users to directly purchase Bitcoin and other currencies with fiat. For fees, Changelly’s fees are .5% + 5%. .5% is the fee Changelly takes, and 5% is the fee Simplex takes.
Virwox is another option that is also pretty unique. Virwox isn’t exactly a cryptocurrency exchange, but rather a virtual asset exchange. Virwox allows video game currencies such as second life lindens to be exchanged for several currencies, including Bitcoin. The fees are somewhat high at around 10%, but is an option for users who want to use Paypal or video game currencies to buy Bitcoin.
Bitcoin ATMs are a great private way of obtaining Bitcoin. First, find a Bitcoin ATM near you, and deposit cash. You will be promoted for a Bitcoin address, and will be sent Bitcoin! This is a simple method allowing you to not have to deal with the hassle of exchanges. Most Bitcoin ATMs will charge between 5%-10% for their services.
Bitcoin In India
The Adoption and Use of Bitcoin in India
Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency according to CoinMarketCap, is gaining awareness and adoption in India. However, pioneer cryptocurrency is still not widely used in the Asian nation. Currently, one bitcoin can be exchanged for approximately 240,000 Indian Rupees, the local currency of India.
Government’s Stance on Crypto
In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India, India’s Central Bank made an announcement stating that commercial banks and all other firms associated with the Reserve Bank should stop offering services to cryptocurrency companies. However, the Central Bank noted that there was no ban on Bitcoin.
The move by the central bank was purported to shield its population from getting scammed by others through crypto, which is basically anonymous. The blanket ban was also to disallow Indians from losing money invested in crypto to ICO exit scams, digital exchange hacks, and other ways money could be lost through crypto. There was also a case of Amit Bhardwaj, an Indian who began several bitcoin-based Ponzi schemes and made over $300 million after absconding.
Until September 28, 2018, cryptocurrency exchange, Zebpay used to be the leading digital currency exchange to purchase bitcoin with Indian Rupees. This was as a result of Zebpay not being able to obtain a banking feature from financial institutions in the country. Five months prior to Zebpay’s shutdown, India’s Central Bank had placed a ban on banks to associate with companies trading in bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies. The ban disallowed Zebpay users to purchase or sell Bitcoin, hence the closure of the exchange in the country.
Zebpay was regarded as one of the top three exchanges in India. In fact, the exchange was the first to start the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in India. The shutdown of the digital assets was regarded as highly impactful on the bitcoin space in India. The Zebpay team explicitly stated that it was not going to adhere to impractical policies laid down by financial bodies in the country.
Zebpay was so functional and widely used in India to the point that it offered features such as Mobile Balance Recharge, purchase of Amazon vouchers, purchase of Domino’s Pizza, Uber and several other features.
The popular opinion about the Indian government’s resolute decision not to regulate cryptocurrency in the country is that it believes crypto will boom once it’s regulated. This practically means that the Indian government is against the mass adoption and flourishing of crypto in its nation.
Several people think that India’s position in technology globally is far behind and they should be thinking of integrating cryptocurrency into their system in order to set the pace.
Countries like France, Malta, Switzerland, and even fellow Asian nation, Japan, have created friendly regulations for crypto.
India is, however, doing the opposite of this. It is believed that if all exchanges leave India, it might be difficult for the country to catch up once the global mass adoption of crypto starts.
A new cryptocurrency exchange, Ecoinomi, has however emerged in India despite the unfavorable regulations. Ecoinomi refers to themselves as a crypto ecosystem.
It also has its own traditional crypto called XCOM. XCOM, Bitcoin, and Ethereum can be used to purchase Indian services and products. The platform has created a platform on which its native cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Ethereum can buy commodities and services.
Generally, in India, there are not many places that use Bitcoin as a method of payment or even accept the digital currency as a form of payment.
Most people that buy and use Bitcoin in the nation are tech savvy or see Bitcoin as a financial instrument to invest in and gain high returns on investment.
What Might Become of Bitcoin in India
The future of cryptocurrency in India is quite uncertain. Techies in the country, however, believe that the effect of the blanket ban will cripple several other local exchanges and subsequently facilitate very slow adoption of bitcoin in the nation.
Local exchanges are the best way for citizens to use cryptocurrencies and if there aren’t any, people will lose interest in utilizing bitcoin.
The Reserve Bank of India has, however, in a contradictory measure, declared that they would create their own form of centralized Indian Rupees on the blockchain.
It has been forecasted that just like India’s delay to tap into the dot com boom of the early 2000s, there will be another brain drain from India as a result of the unfriendly attitude to bitcoin by the government.