The global cryptocurrency market is still growing and last year, Crypto.com reported that global crypto owners increased by 39%. It’s estimated that over 425 million now earns cryptocurrencies which is quite a leap from 306 million crypto owners in 2021.
India is one of the countries with millions of crypto users. Forbes reported last year that India approximately has 15-20 million investors who have cryptocurrencies valued at around 4.3 billion USD.
Indian crypto holders are now using their cryptos in different ways. There are now e-commerce platforms that accept them, but if there’s something that many of them are into, it’s probably online betting in India with cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Ownership in India
The Chainalysis 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index indicated that India is second in the overall index rating after Vietnam. This is despite the rumors that the government will be taxing crypto transactions up to 30%.
According to Finder’s Report, as of November 2021, crypto ownership in India already reached 14.7% of the population. In April 2022, this doubled to 29.9%.
Why Indians are Using Cryptocurrencies to Gamble Online
Convenience is the main reason why anyone would use cryptocurrencies online whether it concerns online gambling or not.
However, online casino operators are making it more enticing for their customers to play with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and many more.
Most online gambling sites that accept cryptocurrencies have some of the best promos and bonuses to crypto users. Some online casinos like Bitstarz treat its new crypto players with a welcome bonus up to 5 BTC.
That’s because crypto casinos can afford to offer such bonuses as it’s generally cheaper to process crypto payments. Other betting sites like 1xBet, BC.Game, and GGBet also offer crypto bettors exclusive rewards.
The bottom line is that there are great perks in using cryptocurrencies on online gambling including sports betting. Many Indian betting sites accept cryptocurrencies too including 10CRIC, Parimatch, and 22Bet.
India’s Central Bank Governor Asks for Crypto Ban
While the use of cryptocurrencies is on the rise in India, it’s unavoidable that there are skeptics about its potential. India’s Central Bank Governor, Shaktikanta Das, has recently expressed that the value of cryptocurrencies is nothing but make believe.
Das said, “Every asset, every financial product has to have some underlying (value) but in the case of crypto there is no underlying… not even a tulip…and the increase in the market price of cryptos, is based on make-believe.”
He also explained that it’s 100% speculative and it’s also a form of gambling. Since gambling is prohibited in India, he then said that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be allowed too.
Das also explained how crypto poses a threat to central banks.
“Please believe me, these are not empty alarm signals. One year ago in the Reserve Bank, we had said this whole thing is likely to collapse sooner than later. And if you see the developments over the last year, climaxing in the FTX episode, I think I don’t need to add anything more.”
Well, Das isn’t against digitalization of transactions. He did express his support for the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and dubbed them as the future of money.
No significant response has been released yet regarding the Central Bank’s governor call.
India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is saying that a global collaboration on cryptocurrencies is necessary so they can assess the pros and cons of the industry and for the taxonomy.
Sitharaman said, “Any legislation for regulation or banning can be effective only after significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards.”
However, Sitharaman seems to also share the same thoughts with Das.
She said that the value of cryptocurrencies rests solely on the speculations and expectations of high returns that are not well-anchored. It’s very different from how fiat currencies are anchored by policies and legal tender.
Despite these comments from the finance side of the government, it’s still likely that India will regulate cryptocurrency use instead of placing a blanket ban.
There is a chance that crypto transactions will be taxed, and if that happens, crypto betting in India might take quite a hit.
For now, crypto gamblers can still proceed with placing their bets on offshore online casinos to avoid getting into any trouble. It will probably take a while for any crypto legislation to be passed, so it’s still a waiting game.
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