LONDON — India has become the world leader in the world of Bitcoin trading and its market value surged more than 100% to more than $1 billion last year as investors poured money into virtual currencies.
Indian-born trader Anand Srivastava started trading bitcoin in January 2014 and bought 1.7 million shares of the digital currency at a price of $16,500 (3,000 euros) a share.
In July, he began selling bitcoin for around $500 a share, which climbed to about $1.3 billion in October.
In a bid to capture the opportunity of the Indian market, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, launched a bitcoin trading platform in November 2016.
Srivastavavs first exchange, BitFury, said on Wednesday it had raised $250 million from Chinese company ChinaBTC Capital Corp., which owns the trading platform.
India, a nation of about 40 million, is the second-largest Bitcoin market in the Western world after China, and has seen the virtual currency grow exponentially in value.
Last month, the country was ranked as the world top Bitcoin market by CoinMarketCap, an online trading site.
That was based on a list of 1,788 exchanges, which listed more than 1,000 exchanges.
The United States came in third with 1,093.
In November, the Indian government said it was introducing a law that will allow the government to ban foreign exchange traders from using digital currencies, an idea that could make Bitcoin trading legal.
But the law has yet to be signed by the government.
In an interview with Reuters news agency, Srivampathy, a 42-year-old native of Bangalore, said he wanted to get rid of the fear of losing money from Bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is like gold.
It has value.
People have no idea how much it is,” he said.”
There is a reason why it has been a very popular commodity for many people, like for people in China, for example.”
Srivampatha said he had to sell his shares in BitFurry because it was a short-term move.
“It was a mistake to buy too much at the beginning.
I am just saying,” he told Reuters.
The company’s founder, Vishal Gupta, who has also worked in the Indian finance industry, said the move was a “good first step”.
“The government has not given much information about the regulation of virtual currencies in India.
There is a lot of uncertainty and people have not been able to buy or sell Bitcoins,” Gupta said in an email.
India has about one billion people, and the country has some of the most expensive real estate in the developed world, costing more than twice the price of New York City.
The central bank recently set up a virtual currency exchange platform, Bitfury.com, to facilitate the exchange of digital currencies.
In December, the government approved a law to allow the exchange.
The government, however, has yet inked any regulatory guidelines for virtual currencies, or digital currencies that are not backed by a central bank.