Cryptocurrencies gaining traction in India via social media campaigns

Bengaluru: India’s nascent cryptocurrencyis gaining in popularity with common folks seeking entry into the volatile, high stakes world ofand trading oneven as regulators around the world become more accepting ofand Bitcoin trades at new highs.

Cryptocurrency firms are harnessing crypto communities across,,, andto run campaigns with specialisedinfluencers to rebuild trust in the asset that was marred by scams in 2017, industry insiders said.

The Supreme Court had in March lifted a ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country, leading to many companies re-entering the market to cash on the opportunity.

According to WazirX, a cryptocurrency trading exchange, about 7-8 million people in India trade or hold cryptocurrency today.

Cryptocurrency firms face certain restrictions on advertising on social media platforms and therefore depend on influencers across regional languages to market the digital asset.

“Social media acts as a way to trust the company. In India, the industry isn’t regulated yet. The trust factor is important,” said Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX. “Back in 2017, there were a lot of crypto scams and we didn’t have a crypto community. Today, no one will trust a brand-new website if no one within the online community is talking about it.”

Bitcoin, one of the largest digital currencies in the world, hit a new lifetime high on Thursday when it surpassed $22,000 for the first time amid surging interest from larger investors, who are attracted to the potential for quick gains and perceived inflation-hedging qualities.

Cryptocurrencies emerged over a decade ago but quickly became associated with crime, trading glitches, hacks, and wild price swings. It is only in the past two years that they have started attracting more mainstream interest globally.

“Cryptocurrency is a nascent industry, and a lot of information is required to educate and help spread the message to a large audience,” said Ramalingam Subramanian, head of brand and communication at CoinDCXa, a cryptocurrency exchange. “Because the industry is at a nascent stage, social media is a prudent channel in terms of cost.”

Kunal Kishore Sinha, cofounder of influencer marketing platform ClanConnect, said using social media influencers to increase awareness and demystify the complexities around the product is an essential step towards the success of cryptocurrency in India since financial instruments need to be deeply understood by people before they can start investing.

Aditya Singh, a YouTube creator who makes videos of cryptocurrencies, said interest in crypto content has returned in 2020, driven by people who are looking to make money in a weak economy.

“When the price went down in 2017 interest in the asset went down. From the middle of 2020 investor interest has gone up,” said Singh, who has over 48,000 subscribers on YouTube. “Positive regulations are coming around the world and a lot of money is flowing into cryptocurrency.”