Bitcoin giving gold the nudge

Updated - May 23, 2016 03:51 pm IST

Published - October 13, 2014 12:52 am IST - HYDERABAD:

The slump in gold prices has pushed a small group of investors to look at non-traditional alternatives like Bitcoin, which is yet to get a formal nod from the Reserve Bank of India.

According to officials at Hyderabad-based Bitcoin exchange BTCX India, investors from towns and tier 2 cities, especially in A.P., are curious about bitcoins, which is actively traded on a daily basis in many countries across the globe.

Curiosity and the possibility to make windfall gains when Bitcoin price appreciates are motivating factors to invest, say BTCX India representatives. However, post the recent decline in gold prices, investors are looking to diversify their investments, they said.

“Decrease in prices should ideally prompt people to buy more gold. Those looking to invest in bitcoins at this time are defying the trend,” said Sivakameshwar Rao, CEO and MD of BTCX India. Mr. Rao said investors in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Nellore are leading the pack. He said that while Bitcoin is yet to be adopted in a big way in India, the developments this year have been positive.

At a seminar organised in Prodattur in Kadapa district recently to create Bitcoin awareness, 70 potential people evinced interest. Many who turned up said they were considering bitcoins as opposed to gold as they apprehend the yellow metal may not appreciate in the near future.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used for transaction in a limited number of countries. In most countries, however, they can be traded.

“The gold market is not doing well now. I have been following Bitcoin prices for a while. Though it has seen lows in the recent past, its price has been rising for a few days now. I intend to invest after learning more about it,” said C. Venugopal Yadav, a gunny merchant.

Adds G. Gurumohan Reddy, who too has been buying and selling bitcoins for about six months now, “We expect gold prices to go down further. So investing in gold is not an option. Bitcoins have the potential to appreciate in the present time. Besides, storage of gold is risky. Bitcoin is digital with a small storage risk,” he explained.

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