Investment opportunities in digital cryptocurrencies have been constantly rising over the past few years. These blockchain-based financial instruments have been giving back good returns ever since bitcoin was first introduced. Many countries, including India, have thus seen the growth of exchange platforms for assisting investors through the complexities of digital currency trading. Here, we look at the seven major exchange platforms in India that one can effectively use for bitcoin and other altcoin investments.
Zebpay is an Ahmedabad-based bitcoin exchange which was founded in 2012. It was the first in India to introduce a user-friendly digital wallet for enabling bitcoin transactions using a 4-digit PIN, and without the complexities of understanding bitcoin addresses and taking back-ups for fear of losing currency. By the end of 2016, Zebpay became the first Indian exchange to cross the turnover of INR 6 billion in bitcoin transactions. It has a user base of over 8,00,000 and was voted as best new bitcoin exchange platform at the CoinAgenda conference in Las Vegas in 2014.
Unocoin, India’s second most popular bitcoin exchange platform and wallet after Zebpay, was launched in Bangalore in the year 2013. Unocoin is a member of NASSCOM and has over 1,30,000 customers. It recently partnered with BTCJam, a global peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform, to bring bitcoin loans service to India. Unocoin has also collaborated with over 25 Indian merchants and launched a mobile app for its customers to buy goods and services in exchange for bitcoins. In addition, Unocoin enables users to convert their blockchain assets such as Ethereum, Monero, Zcash and Dash, directly into bitcoin and then if required, into INR. Unocoin bills a transaction fee of 1 percent for each bitcoin transaction.
Coinsecure was founded in 2014 and has its head office in New Delhi and a research division in Bangalore. It offers a bitcoin trading platform and wallet, along with other blockchain-based services. Coinsecure claims to provide the most secure wallet and merchant payment gateway for real-time trading. It also provides a mock trading platform for its customers. Coinsecure has partnered with Netki to help users to make their own simple wallet addresses instead of 32-character bitcoin public addresses. It has also collaborated with BitPay, a global bitcoin payment provider, to enable Indian merchants to accept bitcoins from customers. It charges 0.3 percent of a bitcoin transaction as fees.
BuyUcoin is another major exchange platform and introduced India's first altcoin exchange and has one of the simplest payment wallets which can be used to trade, store, use and accept digital currencies. It deals in a total of 18 cryptocurrencies and altcoins, including currency tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, AntShare, Bitcoin Cash and more with Indian rupees. BuyUcoin has a unique 0 percent trading fee model and does not charge any fee on the transitions. The exchange is based out of Uttar Pradesh and serves more than 15,000 customers.
Bitxoxo is India's first company to launch bitcoin pre-paid gift cards, in addition to buying and selling bitcoins. Bitxoxo has been involved in conducting workshops throughout India so as to enhance the knowledge and applications of bitcoin among people. Bitxoxo charges no fees for any of its services and has a 0 percent fee model. Bitxoxo is open 24*7 and allows payments and withdrawals through IMPS, ensuring instant payments to customers' accounts, irrespective of banking hours. It recently crossed more than 100,000 users and runs out of Warangal, Telangana.
BTCXIndia was launched in 2013 in Hyderabad and is also one of the major bitcoin exchanges in India. Apart from dealing in bitcoin, the platform offers real-time trading of the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world, Ripple (XRP), after it collaborated with Google-backed Ripple Labs. Bitxoxo’s customers can store their currencies in a securely encrypted, passcode protected wallet with no holding fees. On transactions, a trading commission of 1 percent is charged.
EthexIndia is an online platform that allows the exchange of the second most-widely used cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum (ETH). Started in 2016, ETHEXIndia is India’s first ether exchange and provides real-time trading with the usage of an effective wallet system based on Ethereum. The company is reportedly growing rapidly with the surge in demand of Ethereum, especially after the skyrocketing of bitcoin prices. Ethexindia is owned by S Capital Solutions, which is the same company that owns BTCXIndia.
BitBay, one of the world's major digital currency trading platforms, has entered the Indian market, thus becoming the first international exchange to do so. Bitbay’s platform currently accounts for more than 60% of the cryptocurrency market in central Europe. With its entry in India, BitBay will support bitcoin and allow trade and exchange of eight other types of cryptocurrencies like Ether, Gamecredits, Litecoin, Monero, Dash, Lisk, etc. Bitbay plans to expand the number of digital currencies traded on its exchange to 17.