Bitcoin is currently in the news for hitting a new record high of $19,850.11 and climbing to that level fast. The surge in demand for the world's most popular in November was largely on account of its enthusiasts citing increased interest from institutional investors in the asset amid a pandemic-induced weakening of the global economy.
Cryptocurrencies, which are still a fairly new form of investment option, are highly volatile in nature. From its previous peak of over $19,500 in December 2017, Bitcoin fell to $4,000 in late 2018.
In 2020, the value has risen 170% with some dramatic changes in value within a day. On Monday, the price of Bitcoin rose by $2,000 to hit a new all-time high, demonstrating its extreme volatility.
Buying Bitcoins in India: 5 Things To Know
It is possible to purchase bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies legally in India. After the Supreme Court verdict in March this year, the prohibition on dealings in cryptocurrencies by RBI was lifted.
However, one should note that there is still no regulatory body to govern the workings of these virtual currencies.
Moreover, a Bloomberg report in September said that the Indian government is planning to introduce a law that will ban the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
2. How to buy?
There are multiple ways to buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in India.
Apps and websites are convenient to purchase amid the pandemic. There are several apps like Zebpay, UnoCoin, CoinSecure etc. that allow users to purchase bitcoins using online payment mediums.
Funds to buy these can be transferred from your Indian bank account using NEFT, RTGS, debit/credit card, etc. These companies function as cryptocurrency exchanges, which is convenient as this will enable easy selling as well.
Choice of the exchange will depend on the fee charged on purchase and sale of the cryptocurrency, ease of use, etc.
Facilities for storage like online wallets, software wallets and hardware wallets also matter.
3. Buying less than one bitcoin
At the time of writing, a single Bitcoin is priced at over Rs 14 lakh, which is very expensive for an average person.
However, cryptocurrency exchanges in India allow you to purchase a part of Bitcoin, with investments starting at as little as Rs 500.
To set-up an account with these exchanges/app and even store the cryptocurrency, one is required to complete the KYC (know your customer) process, just like any other financial service in India. You are required to provide address proof, PAN and bank account details for the verification.
Income from selling Bitcoin is taxed at 30% for short-term investments and around 20% for long-term (3 years) for the capital gains.
The article is purely informational and is not a solicitation to buy, sell in securities mentioned in the article. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt Ltd, its subsidiaries, associates and the author do not accept culpability for losses and/or damages arising based on information in this article.
About the author
Olga Robert is an M.Com graduate covering equity markets and personal finance for nearly three years. Her interests include tax planning, equities, DIY personal finance management and government schemes.