Bitcoin prices have shed 20 per cent the past three days from about $5,000 per unit in international market to $4,030 on Tuesday morning. In India, however, investors are rushing to buy the crypto currency and domestic prices are quoted at 20 per cent premium.
The country’s leading Bitcoin exchange, Zebpay, issued an advisory to bitcoin investors saying, “Due to high demand and low supply of bitcoins, both buying and selling prices are higher in India compared to international prices.” It warned investors to observe caution while buying or selling the currency, as prices are volatile.
Unocoin, another Indian Bitcoin exchange, has also put a note on its website stating, “Some of the big bitcoin withdrawals to a bitcoin address are being processed manually. Kindly expect a delay of 1-2 working hours for its processing.”
Prices in India are hovering around Rs 3.15 lakh a unit for buy while global prices are quoting in the range of $4,050-4,100. This indicates that Indian prices are quoted at a premium of 20 per cent to the international market. High premiums are not new thing, but it is interesting to note that investors are prepared to pay premium at such high prices. However, some selling has begun.
In India, bitcoins are not mined due to high electricity and manpower cost, while China produces the most due to cheap electricity.
The crash in bitcoin prices internationally is a result of the sweeping action Chinese regulators took against domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs), the nascent funding mechanism this startup was founded to enable. The regulator was calling on exchanges to cease the trading of ICO tokens and demanding that platforms issue refunds to select customers.
Globally there was a mania of ICOs or initial coin offerings, which are somewhat similar to initial public offerings of shares. In ICOs, they were offering tokens for bitcoins and raising funds to invest in crypto currencies in unregulated environment. So far, an amount far in excess of a billion dollars has been raised through this instrument and the resultant volatility and rapid rise in bitcoin and crypto currency prices has had regulators worried. Other crypto currencies that have seen sharp spurts and falls include Etherium and Bitcash, which is another form of bitcoin. in just three days, the overall crypto currency market capitalisation fell from $174 billion to $134 billion early Tuesday morning before rising to $140 billion, while Bitcoin’s share, which was 45 per cent of the total market cap three days ago, has increased to 48 per cent.
In the beginning of the current financial year, Bitcoin was hovering at $1,074 and has risen four fold in just eight months. Two weeks back Cryptocoinnews.com had quoted Sheba Jafari, a chief technical analyst at Goldman Sachs saying, “She anticipates that the bitcoin price will continue to rise to a maximum of $4,827 during its fifth wave. However, she said she doesn’t believe that bitcoin will reach $5,000 during its fifth wave. In fact, she expects the bitcoin price to crash by more than 38 per cent at the completion of the wave.”
Having crashed nearly 20 per cebt from its peak, it remains to be seen whether or not bitcoin meets Jafari’s projections.