How to Buy Bitcoin in India
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a very complex concept, so we’ll divide it into two parts. Bitcoin is known as a token that is also used as a digital asset. Bitcoin is encrypted, meaning that when transactions go through its platform, users don’t have to worry about it getting hacked (Bitcoins do get hacked when you lose your private keys or keep them on a vulnerable exchange).
Also, Bitcoin is a protocol, it uses a distributed network and holds the token into users wallets. It allows you to conduct payment transactions without the need of a centralized authority like a payment gateway or a bank. Bitcoin is developed and stored electronically.
Bitcoin is a digital asset, meaning that it’s not printed out like euros or dollars. It’s made through computers and uses free software in order to make it. Bitcoin is the first successful example of a cryptocurrency, an asset that shares the same characteristics of fiat currency. It uses encrypted verification in order protect their transactions when paying for each other’s services. Everyone wants to buy Bitcoin but most of the bigger exchanges don’t support all the countries yet, there are many exchanges to buy Bitcoin in India but some of them don’t have enough liquidity yet.
Since it was the first cryptocurrency to reach mainstream appeal, Bitcoin has a lot of value amongst crypto investors. For instance, Bitcoin has over $133 billion in value and controls over 42% of the entire crypto market. Due to its success and importance in our economy, we’re here to help new investors from India find the right exchanges so that they can start buying Bitcoin today.
You’ll need following things to legally buy Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in India:
- PAN Card
- Bank Account in your name
- An Indian mobile number
- Aadhaar card
Not all exchanges ask for KYC verification but most do.
India Based Crypto Exchanges
In order to invest and buy Bitcoin in India, you have to find the right exchanges according to your country. They are regulated and require ID verification in order to start buying Bitcoin on their platform (KYC verification is mandatory in all exchanges). Here are some of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges that are available to Indians:
Online, you’ll notice a lot of people using Koinex, and some who dislike the exchange as well. While it has a mixed online reputation, people like to use Koinex due to their simple to use options, and its liquidity helps with day trading.
On the otherhand, it has high fees which might not make it an attractive option. People who regularly trade Bitcoin say that the coin availability and its ease of use make Koinex a great option for first-time users who want to buy Bitcoin in India.
- Multiple Cryptocurrencies: Besides Bitcoin, Koinex allows users to trade in Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.
- Customer Support: Koinex has one of the most reliable customer service teams in any crypto exchange. Also, they have tutorial videos to help beginners use their platform.
- Real-Time Market: Koinex allows you to do real-time trades as the price is determined by buyers, sellers, and the market.
- Delay in fiat withdrawal: There are some users on Bitcointalk forum complaining about the slow fiat withdrawal from Koinex. This would be a temporary issue though and should be fixed soon.
- Fees: You’ll have to pay 0.4% fees for each transaction.
Unocoin is India’s most popular Bitcoin exchange. The exchange was made in 2013 and users can use any Indian bank account (State Bank of India, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, etc.) in order to buy and trade Bitcoin. In fact, Unocoin has U.S. investors that also power the exchange’s development and usability.
It’s regulated in India, and you pay 1% fees when buying or selling Bitcoin. For beginners, this exchange is simple and easy to use.
- Ease of Use: Unocoin has a beginner interface to help novice investors start crypto trading.
- Multiple Payment Options: They allow users to pay through credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
- Customizable Investment Options: Has additional features such as a Systematic Investment Plan where you can make monthly scheduled payments to buy Bitcoin.
- Additional Fees: Unocoin has an additional 1.9% transaction fee when using PayU Money.
- Payment Transfers: It’s difficult to transfer payments on Unocoin. Users have to send money via Unocoin wallets first.
Zebpay was launched in 2015. Just like Unocoin, Zebpay is regulated and allows users to purchase or sell Bitcoin with a verified Indian bank account. Zebpay has enhanced security features and has a mobile app that’s made for iPhone and Android. Still, you’ll need ID verification in order to buy Bitcoin from the exchange legally.
- Competitive Rates: Zebpay has a 0.5% fee for Bitcoin trades and 0.3% for other trades, making more affordable than Unocoin.
- Direct Notifications: Also, it provides SMS and email notifications when trades have been initiated and completed.
- Quick Sign-Up Process: Zebpay has a quick sign up process, a responsive app that doesn’t lag, and you can start buying Bitcoin after completing 2-3 steps.
- Mobile Application Only: Zebpay doesn’t have a desktop application. This prevents PC/MAC users from trading on their platform.
Coinsecure has gained popularity since it was created in 2015. The exchange allows a few deposit options such as RTGS, IMPS, NEFT and through a cash deposit.
A small percentage of your funds are placed in a hot wallet for quick withdrawals, and the rest are in a cold wallet for long-term storage. However, it’s interface is difficult for beginners and will take time getting used to Overall, the new exchange offers great rates and has the highest level of wallet protection.
- Instant Withdrawals: Coinsecure has automated bitcoin withdrawals and deposits making it easier to send funds to other users.
- No Verification Required: With Coinsecure, all you need is a NETKI wallet and a Bitcoin address in order to store your Bitcoins. You still need to complete verification fro trading though.
- Low Price Difference: The buying and selling price are lower than any other exchange.
- Advanced User Interface: Coinsecure’s interface is suited for traders.
- No iOS App: It has an Android and website app, but an iOS app is still in development.
Launched in November 2017, Coinome is an Indian cryptocurrency exchange and a subsidiary of Billdesk, an online payment service. Coinome not only supports Bitcoin, but also altcoins like Qtum, Dash, DigiByte, Ethereum and Litecoin.
The trading interface is less complicated than other exchanges and to trade Bitcoin or other cyrptocurrency, the user must complete KYC verification.
- Quick INR Deposit and Withdrawal: It takes less than 5 minutes for the fiat deposits and withdrawals to be processed.
- Backed by a trusted company: Billdesk is a widely used online payment processor in India with a net worth of 1 Billion dollars.
- Low fees: Trading fees are as low as 0.1% and 0.3% for the order maker and taker respectively, excluding GST. Deposits have zero fees.
- No Android or iOS app: Coinome doesn’t offer an android or iOS app yet.
Last on our list is LocalBitcoins. LocalBitcoins allows people from India and different countries to exchange their native currency for Bitcoins. The site allows sellers to post advertisements and meet the buyer in person and trade Bitcoin for cash, or use internet banking for direct trading.
But, you’ll have to check each seller’s reputation before trading with them. Some people sell to traders with the intent to scam them; we suggest that you stay alert in order to avoid this problem. With LocalBitcoins, crypto traders from India have a private peer-to-peer network where they can get Bitcoin within minutes.
- Cash Transactions: Buying Bitcoin via cash will have the funds placed in your account within 1 hour.
- Decentralized: LocalBitcoins has no third party or political intervention involved.
- Availability: LocalBitcoins is available in India and 200 other countries.
- Multiple Payment Methods: Localbitcoins supports multiple payment methods including Paytm and other mobile wallets but the sellers want heavy premium for these methods.
- High-Risk Methods: People who trade via PayPal or Paytm have experienced payment reversals, making this a risky exchange to use.
- Various Transaction Speeds: Depending on the payment method, you’ll have to a few hours to a few days for the transaction to complete and receive your Bitcoins.
Benefits of Bitcoin
Ever since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has been used to enhance the economic status of people who were previously impoverished. Here are the most common benefits you’ll experience when using Bitcoin:
Low Inflation Risk
Traditional fiat currencies (dollar, euro, pound, etc.) are controlled by government regulation. This leads to inflation because governments can print out more money when needed. Fiat currencies can lose value which leads to a reduction in purchasing power and paying more of the currency to buy products.
Bitcoin has an infinite system, and the money never expires. By 2050, it is said that one Bitcoin will be able to take care of 500 people! Its low inflation risk is one of the main reasons why traders in India are interested in investing in Bitcoin.
Unless you voluntarily publish your Bitcoin transactions, the purchases are unable to be traced back to your personal identity, similar to cash-only purchased. In fact, Bitcoin has an anonymous address that’s made for each purchase changes that occur within its network.
Wire transfers and standard foreign purchases have exchange costs and additional fees. Since Bitcoin transactions don’t have intermediary institutions or government involvement, the costs are lower than traditional payment systems. Thus, providing a huge advantage for travelers who need to send and receive money without paying expensive fees. Also, Bitcoin transactions occur quickly, which eliminates long wait periods and authorization requirements.
In India, is easy to create an account and start trading Bitcoin. There’s a multitude of exchanges out there that are willing to provide the service if you fit their requirements. In conclusion, we recommend that you try out different exchanges and choose the one that suits your needs the most.