With the value of Bitcoin growing exponentially in recent times, many retail investors are entering the cryptocurrency industry for the first time. While investing in these levels may be fraught with danger, the fact that the crypto currencies are here to stay, and people all over the world are just starting to wake up to this fact. Here in India, just like the rest of the world, the call of Bitcoins is increasingly difficult for the average citizen to resist, and many have already begun to dip their fingers into the new but crazy world of cryptocurrencies. Even the RBI claimed to have considered launching their digital currency at some point, though, the idea appears to have been later canceled. So, if your interest in the topic was raised and you want to participate in the action, here's how you can buy and sell Bitcoins in India:
How to buy and sell Bitcoins in India
Let's say you are a newcomer to the cryptocurrency scene and want to know how ABC works. First, you will have to identify a cryptocurrency exchange from which you can buy your Bitcoin. While some global exchanges allow you to buy Bitcoins with Indian currency, the relatively simpler process on some of the India-based platforms, many of which allow you to pay your digital currencies with Indian bank accounts via online banking, NEFT or RTGS . There are many of these new services that apparently multiply every day, but for the purposes of this article, we will register on Unocoin, as the country's largest Bitcoin platform in terms of daily value
How to register on Unocoin (on the desktop)
- First, go to the Unocoin homepage to create an account. You will need to use a Valid email ID and choose a secure password to start.
- Now that you have an account, the first thing you need to do provide your bank details, your identity document and the PAN number, as you can see below.
- Once all the details have been provided, it may take a few days before Unocoin verifies the information, after which you should be able to start trading with Bitcoin. Once you've got the confirmation, you can transfer money from your bank account to Unocoin and use it for a variety of reasons, including, of course, the buying and selling Bitcoins .
- You can also convert your 'altcoin' to Bitcoin, if you want. Unocoin currently only supports Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Ethereum, Monero, Ripple, Lisk and Factom. However, you can't convert your Bitcoins into altcoins on Unocoins.
Unocoin offers also a wallet, but it is not advisable to use warm wallets, so you will have to move your e-monies to a safer place sooner rather than later (we'll talk about that later).
How to register on Unocoin (Mobile App)
Note: the official Unocoin app available on the Play Store and the App Store. We will use the Android app on our Pixel 2 XL for today's demo.
- First of all, download the Unocoin app on your device e turn it on . Once you get past the home screen, you will need to register with a valid email address . Once you have provided your e-mail and a secure password, you will receive a verification email on which you will need to click to verify your mail ID. Later, you will have to set a six-digit passcode a your choice.
Note: This passcode is extremely important and you will need to use your Bitcoins once you have some in your possession. There will be no backup of this passcode anywhere, so if you forget it, you will have to say goodbye to your crypto money.
- After confirming the passcode, you will immediately be asked to check your bank details . Then touch the message "Receive Verified" on the next screen and provide the details of your PAN card, photos, proof of address and proof of identity. Unocoin says it may take a couple of days for this to proceed according to the RBI's requirements.
- Once verified, you will receive the confirmation email on your registered email ID and you will be ready to start trading in no time. At press time, the 'buy' value of 1 Bitcoin was just above Rs. 8, 67, 000, while if you are trying to sell one, you will be around Rs. Only 8,000,000.
Note: Unocoin charges a commission of 1% on every transaction that is further reduced to just 0, 7% once the upgrade to "Gold Registration" is completed with a sufficient volume of exchanges. You will also have to pay an IGST of 18% (integrated tax on goods and services) on the transaction fee.
Other Bitcoin trading platforms based on India
There are many other cryptocurrency platforms based on India, but here we are only listing some of those relatively more established as alternatives to Unocoin.
Zebpay a Bitcoin broker based in India and offers apps for Android and iOS that facilitate the purchase of digital currency with a connected Indian bank account. It also offers additional services such as mobile recharges and bitcoin gift vouchers . One thing you need to remember that Zebpay does not list its commissions separately, but includes them in the purchase / sale prices, making the whole process a little less transparent. Like Unocoin, it also offers you a hot wallet that you can use to store Bitcoins only temporarily.
Visit the website
Coinsecure an Indian Bitcoin trading and trading platform, known above all for its ridiculousness commissions, which, with just 0, 3% for purchase, almost equal to the rates of the main brokerage companies. It also offers a number of deposit options including NEFT, RTGS, IMPS and cash . However, the service aimed primarily at experienced traders, which means that retail investors, especially the new ones, could find some confusion in the UI. Coinsecure has an app for Android, but evident for its absence on the App Store.
Visit the website
Koinex defines itself "the exchange of digital goods more advanced than India " . just been launched a few weeks ago ed still in beta version, but has already acquired a certain amount of publicity through word of mouth. It seems to work fine and my colleague also guarantees its authenticity, which is why it is on our list of reliable Bitcoin platforms based on India. Remember, however, that Koinex is still in development, so there are no mobile apps at the moment.
Visit the website
Advantages and disadvantages of using Indian Bitcoin exchanges and brokers
While companies based in India make buying and selling Bitcoins easy, the main problem that almost everyone is governed by Indian law, which is why it is necessary provide a complete KYC form (Know Your Customer) to get started. It virtually nullifies the whole purpose of using Bitcoin for transactions, given how the platform was created with privacy as the main goal. Although we shouldn't really care if you are looking at Bitcoin as an investment, it should be a red flag defined if you are trying to spend digital currencies privately.
In case your privacy concerns you number one, the platform that you should consider a warranty deposit service called LocalBitcoins which helps to compare bitcoin buyers and sellers. While the cash payment method is more common, users can advertise their transactions for any payment method they prefer. LocalBitcoins rather like a Tinder for digital currencies, linking potential buyers and sellers of Bitcoins to other Bitcoin users in their city. Buying bitcoins through a meeting in person one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country.
What is a Bitcoin wallet and why do I need it?
Strange but true, even before buying your first bitcoin fraction, you have to set up a Bitcoin wallet to store your digital money . Although not technically mandatory, just the best practice to protect your investment. This is because storing your Bitcoins in an exchange means that you have no control over your money, leaving you at the mercy of the security infrastructure of the exchange that has often proved to be the weakest link in cryptocurrency security, with over $ 1 billion has been stolen, hacked or scammed from unsuspecting investors in recent years. This is exactly why you have to use a "wallet" to store your Bitcoins, and while there are many types of Bitcoin Wallets available to you, we'll limit ourselves to the most used ones.
With a hardware portfolio, you can protect your Bitcoins on your hardware . It allows you to encrypt and create backups to ensure the security of your Bitcoins. Alternatively, you can also use online wallets that offer you an encrypted "private key" which identifies you as the owner of your Bitcoins. Just remember that anyone who controls the private keys checks the bitcoins connected to these keys, which is why it is necessary to be more cautious during storage. Another point to note is that there is no way to "recover" your private keys differently from your e-mail password. So if you happen to lose them or forget them, you can say goodbye to your supply of Bitcoins forever.
What is the difference between "warm wallets" and "cold wallets"?
Hot wallets are Bitcoin wallets that work on computers, smartphones and other connected devices, which is why the private keys generated by them they are not 100% safe . While encrypting your keys with a password selected by you, the fact that they are stored online means that they are inherently insecure. However, they are still preferred by many because they have the advantage of being accessible from anywhere via any networked device. You can have hot wallets on Windows, Android, iOS (software wallets), on the web (web wallets), as well as on various exchanges, but while you can keep a small amount of money in their hot wallets for convenience, we We recommend using one to store large amounts of money because of their intrinsic lack of security.
Instead, what you can use are 'cold wallets', because that way you can keep private keys in your physical control, which should keep cyber criminals at bay. While there are different types of cold wallets, we will focus on the hardware portfolios for the purpose of this article, as they are by far the safest. A hardware portfolio a physical device that stores private keys and can be connected to a computer when you want to make a transaction. The specially designed device comes with buttons that must be pressed to authenticate each transaction, making them as hacker proof as you can realistically expect.
Dangers associated with Bitcoin Investment
The intrinsic danger of investing in cryptocurrencies that are not governed by governments or a central bank . While it brings us freedom and privacy, it compromises security, and there is no real guarantee that your $ 10,000 Bitcoin will really be something this time next year. Recently, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) issued a statement warning people about the potential dangers of digital currencies. According to the central bank, "Any user, holder, investor or trader dealing with virtual currencies does it at their own risk". Well, we didn't know that already, so thanks for the heads-up, RBI.
Join Bitcoin Gold Rush, but beware of the pitfalls
Cryptocurrencies have a bright future; of that, no doubt. Even JPMorgan is thinking of entering the Bitcoin trade despite the fact that its CEO has publicly defined the whole cryptocurrency phenomenon as a "fraud". However, as with any investment, you need to know when to enter and when to go out, which is a difficult proposition even for experienced investors. With many Wall Street veterans and technology entrepreneurs expressing their discomfort with unregulated digital currencies, make sure you do extensive research before jumping on the wagon, because after all it's your hard earned money we're talking about.