India’s crypto trading boom: 7 apps to buy, sell, store bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency trading in India has witnessed a massive spike after the Supreme Court lifted RBI’s two-year ban in March. Coupled with a historical depreciation of the rupee, bitcoins are emerging as a less volatile form of wealth.
Even as India faces its worst economic crisis in almost three decades, local crypto trading, especially on peer-to-peer exchanges, has peaked.
This is believed to be a direct impact of the Supreme Court lifting RBI’s “unconstitutional” two-year ban on cryptocurrencies in March, only three weeks before the country went into lockdown.
Anticipating a favourable result, not only did new crypto exchanges and bitcoin trading platforms launch in India, but some also relaunched their apps.
Further, the crypto boom in the last three months has coincided with one of the biggest depreciations of the Indian rupee — the yearly inflation rate is almost 10 percent now — leading to an overall peaking interest in alternate forms of wealth, particularly bitcoins.
“In the beginning, bitcoin was all about speculation, and people wanted to get rich. But now, they are seeing it as a secure medium of exchange and as a pathway to the financial world. It is the best product in the entire fintech space right now.”
Bitcoin trading volumes in India have surpassed the spike of December 2017, when the digital currency was enjoying an unprecedented bull run globally. Since the lockdown began, BTC volumes have increased 10X, according to Bitcoin.com.
As per the latest exchange rates on Coin Dance, one Bitcoin — the most popular cryptocurrency in the world — is worth Rs 7.04 lakh.
YourStory lists a few apps that allow users to seamlessly trade in not just Bitcoin, but hundreds of other popular cryptocurrencies across the globe.
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Coinbase is among the most well-recognised cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, with over 25 million users in 32 countries. It allows users to securely buy, store, and sell cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and others.
Coinbase offers a simple, user-friendly dashboard that lets traders stay abreast of crypto prices and the value of their digital assets in real-time. The app is designed to not only let users trade, but also stay informed about crypto news and updates, price alerts, market movements, etc.
About 98 percent of cryptocurrencies on Coinbase are stored offline, and the app claims to be as secure as a traditional bank. It has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 3.8 out of 5.
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. It blends blockchain tech with finance access, and allows trading in more than 150 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Link, Tezos, Cardano, and Binance Coin.
Users can buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies on Binance’s Secure Asset Fund for Users, set single-tap price alerts, compare dynamic price charts, and even liquidate their crypto assets seamlessly. It also lets users transact at over 50 million worldwide merchant platforms.
The app has a recurring buy option, where users can choose how much and how frequently they want to buy a certain cryptocurrency, and Binance automates the rest of the process. Users can even send and receive crypto from friends or family through their Binance wallets by scanning QR codes.
It counts over a million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.5 out of 5.
Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX promises “lightning fast” INR deposits and withdrawals. Its advanced trading interface allows traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through a Live Open Order Book system.
The app supports digital assets, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, XRP, Ethereum, Zilliqa, and others. Users can deposit or withdraw cryptocurrencies and also cash in or cash out USDT (a cryptocurrency which corresponds to the value of the US dollar) via P2P trading.
They can also store their crypto assets in the WazirX wallet. Additionally, traders get a 50 percent referral commission on the app. WazirX also offers charts for minute-by-minute price tracking, advanced passcode security features, and autofill pricing by tapping on the order book or price ticker.
The app has over 1,00,000 downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.2 out of 5.
Unocoin is among India’s leading crypto asset and blockchain companies, with over a million customers. It is backed by leading VCs like Blume Ventures, Huiyin Blockchain Ventures, Mumbai Angels, and others.
The app is focussed on democratising bitcoins for a billion-plus Indians. Hence, users who buy, sell, and store crypto assets in INR, stand to gain. Unocoin’s top features include low transaction fees, live price tracker widget, a consolidated wallet for all crypto holdings, automated bitcoin buying with fixed amount and frequency, free bitcoins on referrals, etc.
It also allows mobile and DTH recharges with bitcoins, and subscriptions of Bitcoin or Ethereum. The app has more than a million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 3.9 out of 5.
Zebpay relaunched its app in India in January 2020, ahead of SC's hearing on RBI’s crypto ban. It enables crypto traders to buy and sell across 130 countries, with zero trading fees.
The app allows trading pairs (where one kind of crypto asset can be traded with another), and supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, EOS, and several other cryptocurrencies. Users can also access crypto-to-Euro and crypto-to-Australian-Dollar trading.
Zebpay also comes with features like real-time and historical crypto market data tracking, 24X7 price alerts for users’ favourite crypto assets, and instant fund deposits through Zebpay’s third-party partners.
The app claims to have over three million customers worldwide. It has crossed a million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 3.7 out of 5.
Bitbns is a marketplace that allows multi-currency trading, and supports over 70 cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Binance Coin, Monero, Stellar, and Neo. The platform recently enabled USDT, where cryptocurrencies can be traded against the US dollar.
Bitbns lets users store their funds in a secure, 2FA-enabled cryptocurrency wallet with the option to withdraw, transfer, deposit, or trade instantly. It also allows users to trade at 4X their net worth by borrowing from others.
However, it caps the minimum net worth of every user at Rs 2,000. Crypto traders on Bitbns can even avail the unique Margin Lending feature, where they can earn profits by lending cryptocurrency funds at fixed interest rates for a fixed period of time to other users.
Bitbns has over 1,00,000 downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.1 out of 5.
BitBuddy, a marketplace dedicated to bitcoin trading, launched in April 2020 to make the most of India’s ongoing crypto boom. It allows users to buy and sell bitcoins with multiple payment modes, including Google Pay and PayPal.
The app offers P2P buying and selling, real-time market orders, Auto Order Matching with best available prices, a Bitcoin wallet to store coins, one-click account statements, options to buy/sell the total order partially/non-partially, order tracking, and a chat feature to connect with other traders.
BitBuddy rolled out with a two-month introductory offer of zero trading fees. The app has crossed 1,000 downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.2 out of 5.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
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