Bitcoin: Day trading in crypto keeps young Indians busy at night

Mumbai: At 7 pm every day, techie Anish Gupta shuts his company laptop and fires up his personal one. The 27-year-old coder turns into a crypto trader, exploiting opportunities late into the night in the highly volatile market.

“Sometimes, my monthly income from day trading is more than my salary,” said Gupta, who works for an IT outsourcing firm in Gurgaon.

Gupta, who largely trades in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tron, is among a growing tribe of small investors who have taken to crypto to make quick monetary gains and supplement their incomes.

With cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, Shiba Inu and Solana touching all-time highs, the number of traders has also grown exponentially, said market watchers.

Top exchanges have recorded a 200-500% jump in the number of day traders who make money merely by taking positions in various crypto assets.

In all, there are about 105 million Indians who hold crypto assets, and the number of traders is a little over 1 million, according to exchanges.

“We have a daily trader base of over 80,000 Indian high-frequency traders, which used to be around 20,000-25,000 during the bull run of 2017-2018. Day traders generally tend to lean towards high-volatility assets, along with new and upcoming projects with wild movements that they try to capitalise on,” said Shivam Thakral, CEO, BuyUcoin, a cryptocurrency exchange.

Cryptocurrency exchange CoinSwitch Kuber said the average monthly trade volume has zoomed as trading grows.

Most Started Investing During Lockdown

Another exchange, Wazir X, boasts 10 million users. It saw overall volume touch $36 billion in 2021.

“WazirX has witnessed an average 44% growth month on month in terms of volume, while the new signups have increased 10 times,” a spokesperson said.

Most Indians started investing in cryptocurrencies during the lockdown, when companies moved to working from home, drawn by good returns despite inherent volatility and influenced by the high-voltage advertising campaigns run by the well-funded crypto exchanges.

As companies started asking employees to return to offices, the traders moved to trading after office hours. Most cryptocurrency exchanges in India allow traders to trade all day, even on weekends. This is what seems to be attracting young investors, said industry trackers. Most global traders prefer to stick to Bitcoin, they said.

“At OKEx, the BTC balance (number of Bitcoins) is at an all-time high as of November 5 2021, second highest against CoinBase Pro,” said Lennix Lai, director of financial markets at the cryptocurrency platform.

Many Indian traders, however, have also started experimenting with new cryptocurrencies, including meme coins.

Indian investment in cryptocurrencies hit the $10 billion mark, ET first reported on November 1.


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