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Buying Bitcoin in India

With the second largest unbanked population in the world, mobile payments increasing and bitcoin and altcoins becoming popular around the world, it’s easy to see why the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and India’s corrupt government officials are having a tough time keeping the rupee stable.

Fortunately for bitcoin buyers and sellers, even if the rumored “banning” of bitcoin ever happens in India, bitcoin will still store value and can be sold for currencies other than the rupee.

Most purchasers of crypto currencies in India want to avoid the KYC requirements large exchanges have, partially due to RBI banning exchange transfers and blocking accounts. The other reason is that giving third parties your identification can eventually lead to that information being leaked, as many saw with the Aadhaar Number leaks earlier this year. Somehow the government thought linking Aadhaar numbers to telecom services was a good idea before the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. It’s no wonder people in India value a decentralized currency like bitcoin.

Although it is getting difficult using rupees for buying bitcoin in the country, it is still possible with or or without identification to purchase. Two of the largest bitcoin exchanges have had issues.

Zebpay moved their company outside of India to avoid the RBI and government harassment of crypto currency in the country. They will still sell bitcoin for rupees, however the consensus is that there are faster and easier places to buy bitcoin now in India.

Unocoin is another top exchange in the country but after their founders were arrested for installing a bitcoin ATM in India (nothing is clear about what they are being charged with currently), many people are waiting to see if this affects customers deposits and withdrawals on the exchange. Fortunately, the exchange has millions of dollars, rupees and bitcoins to pay customers if the government continues their aggressive stance towards crypto currency exchanges.

Best Bitcoin Exchanges in India to Buy Bitcoin

Because the government and RBI are constantly changing the laws, while the rupee plunges, most Indians prefer to buy small amounts of bitcoin on localbitcoins or similar person to person exchanges that will not require identification.

With the rupee constantly being devalued and RBI’s efforts to block crypto currency increasing, the prices could get even higher for bitcoin if their is an outright ban. Anonymous bitcoin purchases are essential to most people in India, especially the millionaires that flee the country, now that India is planning to change their passport laws for anyone leaving the country.

The Best Bitcoin Exchanges in India for 2018 are:

Bitcoin Exchanges India  TypeKYCCurrencies 
LocalBitcoinsPeer to Peer Bitcoin Buying and SellingYesINR, USD, EUR and BitcoinContinue
HodlHodlPeer to Peer BTC Exchange / Trading PlatformNoCAD, EUR, GBP, INR, JPY, NZD, RUB, ZAR (More) Continue
KoinexPeer to Peer Exchange / Trading PlatformYes INR Continue
PaxfulAnonymous Bitcoin PurchasesNoWestern Union, MoneyGram, Visa Prepaid Cards, Amazon Gift Cards Continue
LakeBTCExchange / Trading PlatformYesIDR, USD, All National Currencies, BTC, LTC, ETHContinue
WazirxPeer to Peer ExchangeYesINR, BTC, WRXContinue
ChangellyAnonymous Bitcoin and Altcoin BuyingNoBTC, ETH, LTC and Hundreds of AltcoinsContinue
BISQAnonymous Person to Person Exchange / Trading Platform NoAUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, INR, JPY, NZD, RUB, SEK, ZAR (More) Continue
CoinMamaExchangeUnder $150 NoVisa, MasterCard, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, INR, JPY, NZD, RUB, SEK, ZARContinue

Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin in India

The underground bitcoin network of India sometimes hang out at the bitcoin meetups and blockchain meetups in Bangalore. There is the Delhi bitcoin group as well as tons of back alley bitcoin deals going on.

There is also the bitcoin marketplace on bitcointalk where many people trade (buyer beware) bitcoin for cash.