The fall and rise of Bitcoin in India - a new hope for sports bettors
Bitcoin is back! Or at least, that's how it felt like to a lot of disillusioned digital sports-betting enthusiasts when the Indian Supreme Court (SC) lifted the ban on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which was put in place two years ago by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April 2018.
Offering lower transaction fees than traditional online payment modes, digital currency Bitcoin has gathered considerable steam all over the world ever since its inception in 2009, driven in no small part by the growing interest in sports betting.
Mining for money
One of the most significant events following the SC verdict was the 'halving' on May 12, where rewards received by the Bitcoin miners - people who go after the 21 million existing bitcoins in total – was cut in half, with the resulting scarcity adding to the value.
To receive these bitcoins as a reward, the miners solve puzzles, adhering to complicated protocols, with the subsequent reward for solving a problem being half of what it previously was, thus raising its value.
The country's key cryptocurrency platforms witnessed transactions triple and new users get doubled during the weeks leading up to the halving.
This surge in interest is being driven mainly by young sports bettors with disposable income and possessing handy amounts of digital savvy, and they are spurred on further by the global fall in interest rates.
"Cryptocurrency in India is emerging like the TikTok of investments," said WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty.
Long road rewards
Shetty further added that those who commit for the long haul are the ones who stand to benefit the most. "History suggests that only short-term investors have the lowest money on bitcoin...over any period of four years since the inception of bitcoin, the returns have always been very healthy," he said.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Justin Tallis