India ranked third globally in terms of the number of downloads of cryptocurrency exchange applications between August 2015 and June 2022, data from a working paper released by the Bank for International Exchange (BIS) showed. The total downloads of such apps in India stood at 30.1 million.
The United States of America (USA) saw the highest number of downloads at 126.9 million, followed by Turkey with 44.2 million downloads.
The high number of downloads in India was due to the bull run in the market, curiosity around the crypto technology and access to smartphones and better internet facilities, experts told Business Standard.
“India is a country with a very high focus on technology as a delivery model for all products and services,” Vivek Iyer, partner at advisory firm Grant Thornton Bharat said.
“Crypto has been an interesting concept and the intellectual curiosity for grasping the same is the reason I would probably attribute to the downloads,” he added.
“After Bitcoin hit its all-time high, the interest among retail and everyday users spiked in India. Also, with more people having better access to smartphones and the internet than ever before, they want to try out various things and choose the best for them,” Edul Patel, CEO and co-founder of crypto investing platform Mudrex, said.
“In particular, with data over 2015–22, we show that users are more likely to make active use of crypto exchange apps in months after a rise in the price of Bitcoin,” the paper read.
The data further revealed that India’s crypto adoption per 100,000 people has remained low. Apart from its high population, experts said this was due to a lack of understanding of the crypto market and high volatility.
“There are many ‘crypto curious’ investors in India who are unable to invest in cryptocurrencies because of a lack of understanding. They get intimidated by uncertainty and volatility of the asset class and do not have time to manage their investments in a 24X7 global market,” Anurag Dixit, founder of crypto asset management platform Kunji, said.
“With the current market situation, strict policies, and looming macroeconomic factors, the adoption in India is a little slow,” Patel added.
Despite the challenges, “with its rapidly growing middle class and tech-savvy, young population, the country is poised to become a powerhouse of the digital economy in the near future,” Johnny Lyu, CEO of crypto exchange KuCoin, said.