In a wealth report posted last week, 18% of India’s ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) own cryptocurrencies or NFTs. However, India’s government has had an unwilling change in its perception of digital assets over the past few years. India’s stance has evolved drastically from an all-out ban on cryptocurrencies in 2016 to an upcoming bill for regulations. Meanwhile, the global value for crypto assets toppled 2.4 trillion in 2021.
Ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) have a net worth of $30 million or more. Last year, India saw an 11% on-year rise in ultra-high net worth individuals, growing to 13,637 people. Additionally, India saw the 6th highest growth in the number of self-made UHNWIs under the age of forty. In 2016, the number of UHNWIs was 7,401. India also ranked third in billionaire population, with the US ranked number 1 at 748 billionaires.
Over the next five years, Knight Frank suspects a global increase in UHNWIs by 28%. At the same time, the UHNWI population in India is suspected of growing to 39% by 2026. In the past five years, markets such as Bengaluru have witnessed an increase in Ultra highs by 22.7%. However, Bengaluru’s projected increase in UHNWIs in the next five years is a staggering 89%.
A wealth report conducted in 2018 showed that only 14% surveyed said blockchains would significantly impact how wealth is managed. After a year like 2021, we can put that notion to bed.
A brief look into India’s crypto history
In March 2018, the Central Board of Digital Tax raised a draft plan to the finance ministry for banning virtual currencies. A month later, the RBI issued a circular that denied banks and financial establishments from providing financial services to virtual currency exchanges. As a result, prices fell and crypto withdrawals stopped after the order effectively passed.
Reversed by the Supreme Court, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) order banning banks from supporting crypto transactions perished in March 2020. As of now, there are no bans or regulations on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.