Bitcoin has been making waves ever since it was introduced in 2008.
The first cryptocurrency introduced something novel to the world that was not seen before. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to digital payments and online transactions accelerated, further fueling the popularity of Bitcoin.
In 2021, it reached its all-time high, reaching $68,789.63. However, the following year, when the Federal Reserve Bank started hiking the fed rates to combat inflation in the US, the crypto market crashed, resulting in a more than 50% decline in BTC’s value.
And everyone thought that this was the end of cryptocurrencies worldwide.
However, in the latter months of 2023, the dying crypto market was born again, with Bitcoin going from $16k in January to $42k in November, experiencing a growth of 157%.
With this resurgence, companies globally have started accepting BTC as a payment method.
Not that they weren’t before; it is that they are more open to the idea now, even in countries such as India, where cryptocurrency regulations were previously strict.
Here are the Indian companies where you can pay for products or services with Bitcoin instead of the usual fiat currency, the Indian Rupee (INR).
Indian Companies that accept Bitcoin in 2024
The Rug Republic, New Delhi
The Rug Republic is an interior decor company that is now accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method. The company has multiple branches in over 90 countries. It does not only accept Bitcoin but the top 20 cryptos by market value. Currently, it uses Binance and WazirX for the payments. The company is set to launch its in-house payment in the coming months.
Established in 2013, HighKart is one of the few Indian e-commerce platforms that accepts virtual currency for purchases. You can purchase anything, from mobiles and electronics to clothes and cameras, from the store.
Purse, an e-retail store is now acquired by Loadpipe. It sold electronic devices and accepted Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies instead of rupees. The store also allowed you to convert your Bitcoin into Amazon gift cards.
Sapna is also an e-commerce store where you can buy goods with Bitcoin. You can buy books, personal hygiene products, and healthcare products. It utilizes Unocoin for the payments. Unocoin is an Indian crypto exchange and trading platform.
Bitrefill is an online platform that allows you to purchase gift vouchers for different brands using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other prominent crypto coins. The price of these vouchers ranges from Rs. 100 to Rs. 10,000 and above. You can buy vouchers for Amazon, Myntra, Ajio, Zomato, Swiggy, KFC, and Bigbasket. Apple iTunes & Store, Playstation, Steam, and games like PubG, Fortnite V-Bucks, and RuneScape are also available to buy.
Suryawanshi Restaurants, Bengaluru
Located in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar and Whitefield, Suryawanshi is a local restaurant chain that made headlines by becoming the country’s first restaurant to accept Bitcoins. Suryawanshi also accepts payment in fiat currency. You can use cash, a card, or BTC for making payments. If you are ever in Bengaluru, try to visit the restaurant once and get this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
History of Cryptocurrency in India
In 2017, the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank and regulatory authority, decided to ban the buying, selling, and exchange of cryptocurrency in India. The central banking authority compared the transfer of these virtual currencies to Ponzi schemes and financial frauds.
However, cryptocurrency had gained significant traction globally by that time, and India could have been one of its biggest markets. Following RBI’s decision, many writs and petitions were submitted to the apex judicial body of the country, the Supreme Court, by online exchanges and committees.
Three years later, in 2020, when the pandemic facilitated the adoption of digital financial systems, the Indian Supreme Court reversed the RBI’s decision to ban cryptocurrencies.
According to Coinswitch, after the ban reversal, the crypto market experienced 700% growth in 10 months, from April 2020 to February 2021.
In the present Indian scenario, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general are unregulated. Hence, mining and selling of virtual currencies is legal in India.
Future of Cryptocurrency in India
1 BTC is worth around INR 36 lakh. The actual price varies as the market fluctuates every hour. You can keep track of the real-time value of Bitcoin here.
NASDAQ estimates that Bitcoin will surpass its all-time high of $62k in January 2024 and potentially reach $69k. If this happens, companies all across the globe, including major corporations, will start accepting different cryptocurrencies for payments alongside fiat currencies.
There are only a handful of companies in India that accept Bitcoin as payment. Some of the companies are The Rug Republic, BitreFill, and Suryawanshi restaurants.
To convert Bitcoin to cash, you can use a cryptocurrency exchange platform or a peer-to-peer marketplace. These platforms allow you to sell your Bitcoin for fiat currency, such as US dollars or Indian Rupee. Once you have chosen a platform, you will need to create an account, verify your identity, and follow the specific instructions provided by the platform to complete the conversion process.
No, Bitcoin is not illegal in India. Cryptocurrency is currently unregulated in the Indian market. You can freely mine, sell, or exchange cryptocurrency in India as you please.