India is one of the emerging global economies. The country’s statistics are mind-boggling. To give you a preview of it:
- India is the second largest country in the world in terms of population
- The median age of the Indian population is 27 years (in other words, we are looking at a huge productive workforce)
- India is the tenth largest economy in the world and it is gradually climbing up the list
- It is the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity
- It is again in the third position among the largest economies in Asia
- The country has close economic ties with three continents (Asia, Africa and South America) and maintains good relations with Europe and North America.
Now that you know where the country stands, it is time to understand why India is a favorable place to start a bitcoin venture and how bitcoin fits in the big picture.
Indian Startup Ecosystem
India has a strong and robust startup ecosystem. It has the third largest startup base in the world after the United States and United Kingdom. According to NASSCOM’s forecast, it is going to displace the UK to be the second largest startup base later this year. Bangalore and Delhi are well-known startup hubs in the country. Most of the Indian startups are in the tech sector, making it an ideal environment to start a bitcoin-based venture.
The median age of Indian population is 27 years. This means, majority of Indian population are in their youth. People of this age group are generally tech savvy and have a low resistance towards change or technology shift. The chances of the Indian population adopting bitcoin looks promising.
Annual foreign remittances to India is close to $100 billion. Given the number of Indians employed abroad, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to 2013 statistics, about 45 percent of the Indian population were unbanked. The situation is changing rapidly, thanks to the government’s initiative with PMO’s Jan Dhan Yojna. Even with these initiatives, there is a lot of ground to be covered and this presents itself as an opportunity to have other methods of financial inclusion. Bitcoin fits right into it.
Reserve Bank of India
Contrary to the speculation of the Reserve Bank of India banning bitcoin and other virtual currencies, RBI has gone easy on virtual currencies by issuing a warning against risks associated with bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The recent statement by Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the RBI about bitcoin and its role in future digital currency, allows us to assume that the future of bitcoin in India is not at any immediate risk.
India has a favorable startup ecosystem, willing entrepreneurs, potential customers and assumingly favorable regulatory conditions. There are few startups already working on the digital/virtual currency sector, with plenty of room available for more.