India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this week that banks should embrace the digital age and get into “mission mode.” The country has been in the headlines worldwide for its recent demonetization practices. The Finance Minister believes government needs to continue to discourage the use of physical currency.
After Demonetization, India’s Finance Minister Encourages Digital Currency Adoption
In the first week of November, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the country by banning large-denomination rupee bills. Now after a meeting with the banking sector, Jaitley said a committee would be created to push currency digitalization. The Finance Minister spoke of “lakh” (100,000) POS machines and would like to see these devices expand nationally.
“Some of the banks have already had a lot of success, contrary to argument which is made within the political system that Indians are not well adapted to this mode,” Jaitley said. “I think political life of India has to accept that right under our nose, people are changing as far as their habits are concerned.”
Cashless Society Already Booming in India
Jaitley detailed to attendees that banking customers today are already utilizing cashless technologies, and “they are ready with their infrastructure,” he said. The Finance Minister explained there are a “crore” (10 million) cards in circulation, and said the change in currency use is already taking place.
“One of the principle single agendas for the meeting was to expand digital banking itself the objective of the meeting was to appeal to the banking system and prepare them in mission mode for expediting this entire exercise,” the Finance Minister detailed.
In order to support the Prime Minister’s cashless society push, the western Indian state of Goa said it wants to be the first to reach this goal. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said Goa is well on its way to becoming all cashless. “Goa will soon be the first state with cashless society fulfilling a dream of the Prime Minister,” Parrikar stated this week.
The Cashless Drive Has Propelled Bitcoin Adoption
Since Modi started the demonetization scheme, Indian bitcoin adoption has been on the rise. Bitcoin.com recently reported that Indian bitcoin use with Purse.io has increased dramatically. In addition, we also detailed how bitcoin exchange rates in India have been over $100 USD more than global exchanges.
This week one cryptocurrency trader described how he has been profiting from the Indian demand for bitcoin by utilizing the spread. The trader outlined the arbitrage opportunities, detailing how U.S. traders can also benefit from sending their bitcoin overseas.
“As of approximately 2:00 pm ET November 24, 2016, the price across the three leading bitcoin exchanges in India had an average bitcoin buy price of 67,735.33 INR or 984.92 USD,” explained Wesley. “At the same time, the price across the three leading exchanges in the US had an average buy price of 735.92 USD leaving a 249 USD or 33.8% premium on bitcoin in India.”
In the post, the trader gave readers two ways they can accumulate over 38 percent premium for their BTC.
Overall Bitcoin in India has been soaring in value, and it seems the authorities’ demonetization effort has primed cryptocurrency demand. If India is to continue its exponential rise in bitcoin adoption it could mean great things for the virtual currency.
What do you think about India pushing for cashless digital currencies? Do you feel that the government’s demonetization decisions will push more Bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments below.
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