More and more Asian countries bring to everyday life cryptocurrency. Second place in terms of turnover Bitcoin world occupy India.
For the last few years, China has had the leading position in the world cryptocurrency trade. However, it is not the only Asian country whose attention is drawn to this market. Since 2016, India, being the second country in the population rank, is also considered to be a leader. In accordance with the surveys carried out in the end of 2016, it turned out that only 6 countries control 55% of the on-line Bitcoin trade, where the second place was taken by India which has 333 million users, being ahead of the United States. Japan is also among the countries which are actively introducing cryptocurrencies into everyday life. In 2016, there were approx. 4 000 commercial points accepting Bitcoin, increasing by 400%.
The situation associated with the change of the approach and the large-scale acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Asian countries find a logical explanation. Above all, speaking of India, it should be mentioned that, just like in the majority of developing countries, the young generation predominates. It is one of the factors thanks to which India has a significantly quicker rate for introducing smartphones, and the increase in the use of the mobile Internet is associated with the use of them. However, the most important factor which gives comfortable conditions for accepting cryptocurrencies in India is the support for and development of the IT field from the government’s side.
The IT industry has a very important place in India’s economy. Recently, the Indian market of information technologies has been the most quickly developing one in the world. The high percentage of the export of IT services and products is a characteristic feature of the Indian IT industry. It means that the Indian IT enterprises, in the greatest part, do not focus on the development of the local market and, instead, provide services for foreign companies. The United States, together with West Europe, has the biggest markets to which Indian IT products are exported. More than 65% of the income of this industry goes to the USA. The greatest Indian enterprises working on the software production and providing IT services have been operating for a few decades. Tata Consultancy Services LTD, Infosys Technologies, and Wipro Technologies are the most famous enterprises. They are listed on the list of the 50 biggest IT enterprises in the world.
The Indian IT market is characterised by a great number of highly skilled staff and, in comparison with developed countries, significantly cheaper labour, on which many foreign companies still focus. The Indian government actively supports the outsourcing of information technologies and IT services. India’s government also actively works on the development of the local market. In 2012, due to its initiative, the ‘Startup Village’ project was established. It aims at supporting and co-financing new IT projects. The National e-Governance Plan has been undergoing the implementation process since 2010. *na pewno 2010?* It is a development plan for providing the citizens of India with electronic state services.
Every year, since 2013, a great part of the state budget is spent on national IT systems, mostly on telecommunication services, infrastructure, and computer software. The development of broadband Internet access takes a separate place. Since 2015, the state programme, Digital India, has been undergoing the implementation process in order to provide citizens with electronic access to state services through the development of the Internet and necessary infrastructure. As part of the programme, the Internet has reached more than 200 000 administration facilities and the outermost places in the country before December 2016, giving the citizens the possibility to use electronic services.
The state’s policy itself, aiming at the development of electronic services in India, gives a lot of room for manoeuvre for e-banking. Additionally, in the end of the last year, India’s government withdrew banknotes with the value of 500 and 1000 rupees from trade, which constituted approx. 85% of the cash in trade. Aside from the withdrawal of a part of banknotes from trade, the Indian government informed the citizens about the possibility to confiscate people’s unregistered gold. This decision was argued that the actions were focused on fighting with the grey zone in India’s economy, corruption, and terrorism. However, some people claim that these actions were intended by the Indian government and that they aim at accelerating the process of the large-scale use and acceptance of non-cash transfers in India. After the decision regarding the withdrawal of 500 and 1000 rupees from trade had been announced, the number of people using digital portfolios on their smartphones has increased. So, after the decision had been announced, the cash flow on Paytm has quadrupled, and the average number of registered users has increased by 167%.
For the major part of India’s society, these changes in the financial system and the entire economy are shocking. Due to the state-level chaos, newspapers such as The Times of India and India Today have started publishing articles describing Bitcoin and, in this way, making India’s society aware and forming its stand towards the cryptocurrency market. Such a broad reach of the information regarding Bitcoin immediately resulted in the demand for BTC. It could be seen in the cryptocurrency trade which doubled on Unocoin, an Indian exchange. This information has been published by co-founders of the exchange. *współzałożyciela czy współzałożycieli? Polskie zdanie: Dana informacja została opublikowana przez współzałożyciel giełdy.* Indian Bitcoin wallet Zebpay also noted a rapid flow of new users.
All the changes which have recently occurred in India’s financial system have resulted in the communication regarding the information on the cryptocurrency market, and Bitcoin has recently become one of the most stable saving measures. At this moment, 333 million Indian users use Bitcoin, and, as it becomes increasingly famous and popular, this number is likely to increase significantly. We can expect that the number of the Bitcoin network users will be equal to the number of the users on the Chinese market soon, or it will even exceed the Chinese.