May has been a stress-filled month for cryptocurrency investors. The world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin came to an almost 4-month low last month. Earlier Bitcoin had plunged over 50 per cent to $30,066 from its record high of $64,895 hit on April 14. The coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, Ethereum, dropped nearly 57 per cent to $1,850, its lowest level since late January.
There were always a lot of uncertainties in this class of assets. However, this has not deterred Indians from investing in this asset and today India has more than 10 million cryptocurrency investors as of April 2021. With crypto prices recently seeing a substantial pullback, the Reserve Bank of India also clarified on 31st May 2021 that bankers cannot cite the Supreme Court order of 2018 to warn users for trading in cryptocurrency, as RBI has not issued any guidance since 2018.
S Ravi, Managing Partner, Ravi Rajan & Co. and former Chairman of Bombay Stock Exchange, says, “Speculative trading is not the right form of investment, as regulators have still not come out with clear guidelines, which would decide the fate of cryptocurrency.”
With Elon Musk‘s tweet, the decline in the cryptocurrency world started, where he stated that Tesla will not accept Bitcoin as payments anymore. Musk stated that Tesla will no longer allow vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to environmental concerns. Additionally, China’s announcement on banning financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions also aggravated the fall in the market.
While due to the recent market fall and uncertainties investors are opting for sell-offs which is surely painful, however, over the last year, Ethereum’s (ETH) price climbed 1,150 per cent while Dogecoin’s 13,310 per cent in the same stretch.
Industry experts say, as an asset class cryptocurrency is here to stay and the outlook is positive. Ravi says, “We all know cryptocurrency is highly volatile and investors should be watchful. It is important to hold on to these investments for at least the medium term.”
He further adds, “Investors are advised to invest a smaller percentage and this should also be a part of the basket of investments. Systematic investment based on the investor’s ability would give returns over a period of time. But all investors need to remember that logical thinking and understanding of the technology driving cryptocurrency will be of utmost importance.”
Although cryptocurrency is not illegal in India, it still is not regulated – which in turns has created a lot of confusion, as there is no governing body to regulate it and the possibility of frauds and scams becomes rampant. That is why experts say it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the tech behind this asset to make more informed decisions. Also, the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrency is nascent as the exchange platforms handling these currencies often have technical mishaps.