India’s crypto market was worth $12.9 billion in 2017 before it incurred the RBI's wrath

  • India’s crypto enthusiasts were at the centre of the bitcoin boom in 2016-2017.
  • At that time, India’s cryptocurrency market had a potential market size of $12.9 billion.
  • Several Indians had indulged in buying bitcoins, which also led to fast growth of startups like Zebpay, Unocoin, Koinex, which worked as cryptocurrency exchanges.
India’s Supreme Court today held the complete ban on cryptocurrency on RBI as unconstitutional. And for India’s crypto community, it’s a way to get back to the highs of 2017.

India’s crypto enthusiasts were at the centre of the bitcoin boom in 2016-2017. At that time, India’s cryptocurrency market had a potential market size of $12.9 billion.

According to a report by CREBACO, here’s a look at the volume of the cryptocurrency dealings in India right before the ban.

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Average volume across 5 major exchanges in India750 Bitcoins per day
Average calculated at the everyday closing price for 180 days$10,551
Per Day Volume Approx79,13,250‬
180 Day Volume Approx1,42,43,85,000‬


Several Indians had indulged in buying bitcoins, which also led to fast growth of startups like Zebpay, Unocoin, Koinex, which worked as cryptocurrency exchanges.

In the peak of the bitcoin madness, Zebpay was reportedly adding 300,000-400,000 users every month with an annual turnover of ₹500 crore. Another major crypto exchange Koinex too saw a similar growth story. In December 2017, Koinex was recording $265M in trading volume and on boarding 40,000 new users in 24 hours.

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But it all came crashing down in April 2018, when the Reserve Bank of India directed banks to stop all transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges.

“This short-lived astronomical growth curve was stalled with the emergence of issues with formal banking channels on which exchange services were deeply dependent on,” Koinex wrote in the blogpost where it announced that it was shutting down.

But today, the story has changed again – as crypto exchanges welcomed the move from the Supreme Court.

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Even after the ban, many traders in India had simply moved from Indian exchanges to the ones registered abroad. With the SC uplifting the ban, these traders can start trading in the Indian exchanges again.

See Also:
Crypto community in India is rejoicing ⁠— exchanges are ready to reopen
Cryptocurrency trading can restart in India after top court removes RBI ban calling it 'unconstitutional'
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