Indian Youth Driving Crypto Adoption as Market Grows 641% Amid Ongoing Calls to Regulate Industry

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • Hindu nationalists have called for strict regulations on cryptocurrencies, as growth in India continues to be driven by the youth.
  • The head of hard line Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, called for strict regulations on digital currencies.
  • Young people from outside large metropolises are largely responsible for the industry’s recent surge.
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Hindu nationalists have called for strict regulations on cryptocurrencies, as the youth of the country contribute to the industry’s growth. 

The head of hardline Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, called for strict regulations on digital currencies. The leader of the group, which has ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made the statements during an annual event celebrating the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

“I have no idea which country regulates a currency like Bitcoin or if there are any rules governing them,” Bhagwat said. “The government has to ensure that it is regulated in the larger interest of the society.” Bhagwat also advocated for stricter monitoring of streaming platforms he says broadcast inappropriate content for school-age children.

Youth driving crypto growth

This stance from RSS comes as the growth in cryptocurrency use in India outpaces much of the rest of the world. Following the Middle East and parts of Europe, India’s market grew 641%, and Pakistan’s 711%, over 12 months. According to a data analytics firm Kantar, roughly 83% of urban Indians are aware of digital currencies, while only 16% actually own them.

Young people from outside large metropolises comprise a large portion of that 16%, and are largely responsible for the industry’s recent surge. Among the 11 million users of crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber managed to acquire in the 18 months since its inception, the average age is 25. In a further appeal to its youthful demographic, the exchange also signed a popular Bollywood youth icon for an ad campaign, featuring the tagline, “Kucch toh badlega,” or ‘something will change.’

Meanwhile, other Bollywood stars have also contributed to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in India. For instance, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan has created his own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and became a brand ambassador for India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn, exchange CoinDCX. According to Bloomberg, officials recently met with Bachchan expressing their concern over this endorsement deal, as officials remain wary of the industry.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.
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