Hindu nationalists have called for strict cryptocurrency regulations as the country’s youth help the industry grow.
The head of the die-hard Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, has called for strict regulations on digital currencies. The group’s leader, who has ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made the statements at an annual event celebrating the Hindu festival of Dussehra.
“I have no idea which country regulates a currency like Bitcoin or if there are any rules governing them,” Bhagwat said. “The government needs to ensure that it is regulated in the broader interest of society.” Bhagwat also called for stricter monitoring of streaming platforms he said broadcast content inappropriate for school-aged children.
Young people drive the growth of crypto
This RSS stance comes as the growth in cryptocurrency usage in India overtakes much of the rest of the world. After the Middle East and parts of Europe, India’s market grew by 641% and Pakistan’s by 711%, year-over-year. According to a data analysis company Kantar, around 83% of urban Indians know about digital currencies, while only 16% actually own them.
Young people from outside major metropolises make up a large portion of that 16% and are largely responsible for the industry’s recent boom. Of the 11 million users of the CoinSwitch crypto exchange Kuber has successfully acquired in the 18 months since its inception, the average age is 25. In further appeal to its young population, the exchange also signed a popular Bollywood youth icon for an advertising campaign, with the slogan “Kucch toh badlega” or “something will change”.
Meanwhile, other Bollywood stars have also contributed to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in India. For example, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan created his own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and became a brand ambassador for India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn, the CoinDCX exchange. According to Bloomberg, officials recently met with Bachchan to express concern over the approval deal, as officials remain wary of the industry.
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