How to Buy Bitcoins in India
Last updated: 7/3/19
Looking to buy Bitcoin in India? In this guide we will review the status of Bitcoin in India, its popularity and different exchanges you can use to get Bitcoins in India.
While Bitcoin is not accepted as a currency in India, it is possible to own and trade it on exchanges. To buy Bitcoin in India, follow these steps:
- Download or get your Bitcoin wallet
- Go to Coinmama
- Choose the amount of Bitcoin you wish to buy
- Enter your payment information and Bitcoin address
If you want a detailed review about how to buy Bitcoins in India keep on reading, here’s what I will go over in this post:
- Bitcoin legal status in India
- Bitcoin popularity in India
- Bitcoin communities in India
- Buy Bitcoin in Indian exchanges
- Buy Bitcoin in International exchanges
- Bitcoin ATMs in India
On the whole, Bitcoin’s legal status in India is not too positive. While not officially banned, India’s finance minister has stated that the government does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency. Moreover, banks are closing accounts that are suspected for being involved with Bitcoin.
The bottom line: While it is still possible to buy and hold Bitcoins in India, you are risking the closure of your bank account. Also, it would be hard to trade or use them for anything within the country.
Considering the size and population of India, it has the potential to be a huge market for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s popularity in India is growing, with trading volumes in 2018 being 85M, comparing to 2017’s 72.5M as evidenced by the LocalBitcoins volume in India:
Interest in Bitcoin in India is presented below by Google Trends, with the search term Bitcoin spiking between August ‘17 – March ‘18, and then going into a slump, possibly due to Bitcoin’s price drops:
There is a number of Indian Bitcoin communities online. These are particularly useful for staying up to date with the latest news as well as for getting advice on the best Indian Bitcoin exchanges and the like. In particular, it’s worth checking out the following forums and pages:
- India subreddit
- India’s BitcoinTalk thread
- Bitcoin India on Facebook – The Facebook group has been recently shut down at end of June 2019
There are a number of Indian Bitcoin exchanges, with the more popular ones being regulated and require ID verification.
The leading Bitcoin exchange in India, Unocoin was established in 2013 and allows users to buy Bitcoin with any Indian bank account. Backed by investors in the United States, Unocoin is a regulated company in India and offers low 1% fees which fall to 0.7% with increased trading volumes. It’s an easy Bitcoin exchange to use, but it does require ID verification.
Update: Koinex was shut down as of June 27, 2019.
Koinex is an Indian-based digital assets trading platform. The platform allows you to buy BTC, as well as other cryptocurrency, with Indian Ruppes (INR). One of Koinex’s unique features is that after completing the KYC, you are provided with a dedicated deposit bank account to which you later link your bank account as a payee. You can then fund and withdraw from this account directly.
Koinex’s trading rules can be read here.
You’re not just limited to Indian Bitcoin exchanges when buying and selling Bitcoin in India. Below are a few other options available to you:
Coinmama may be based in Israel, but it’s available in a huge number of countries, including India. It was launched in 2013, and it offers convenience: you can buy Bitcoin with a debit or credit card. The downside is that the fees are on the high side at 5.5% per transaction and 5% per credit or debit card transaction. You can read our full review of Coinmama here.
CEX.IO is available in most countries around the world. Founded in 2013 with its headquarters in London, this cryptocurrency exchange allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin as well as a selection of altcoins. Both credit cards and bank transfers are accepted payment methods with low fees of 0%–0.2% on trades. CEX.IO offers both a trading platform and a brokerage service, both entail different fees . You can read our full CEX.io review here.
Paxful is a P2P marketplace, which allows buyers and seller to meet online and trade directly Bitcoin with each other. Founded in 2015 and by now they have offices in multiple cities around the world. Sellers on Paxful accept over 300 payment methods, including the major Indian payment methods like PayTM, Bheem, Phonepe. If you’re buying Bitcoins on Paxful, you won’t have to pay any fee to the site itself, but the price of Bitcoin is traded at a premium because of this. You can read our full Paxful Review here.
Changelly is a crypto only exchange, founded in 2015. Signing up for an account doesn’t require any personal information, and you’ll then have a quick and easy way of exchanging cryptocurrency from one wallet to another. There’s a fixed fee of 0.5%, which is slightly higher than many other Bitcoin exchanges. You can read our full Changelly review here.
As of 2019ֿ, there are no Bitcoin ATMs in India, according to CoinATMRadar.
As can be seen, Bitcoin’s status in India is a bit on the downside. With the government banning the use of Bitcoin as a currency and Zebpay shutting down, things seem pretty grim. As long as the government’s (and the banks by extent) hostility towards Bitcoin will continue, it is hard to see a more widespread adaptation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general in India.
Know of additional ways to buy Bitcoin in India, or have experience with the ones we’ve mentioned above? Let us know in the comment section below.
Bitcoin Video Crash Course
Dummy-proof explainer videos enjoyed by over 100,000 students. One email a day for 7 days, short and educational, guaranteed.
We hate spam as much as you do. You can unsubscribe with one click.