TL;DR: As projected dire economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic become ever-more worrisome, a prominent India cryptocurrency influencer and enthusiast is giving followers rather counterintuitive financial advice. He’s asking Indians not to buy bitcoin and instead hold cash.
India Enthusiast: Do Not Buy Bitcoin, Hold Cash Instead
“Don’t buy #Bitcoin pump narrative,” India influencer Crypto Kanoon urged followers on March 19, 2020. “Why? Because people desperately need cash at this time. Hold on to cash it can still buy bread for you. Please do not touch emergency funds. Learn new skill in case of job loss.” Crypto Kanoon is well known among the region’s enthusiasts for his dogged advocacy of cryptocurrency.
He was among the first, for example, to break news of the country’s Supreme Court lifting of a central bank-imposed ban on financial institutions doing business with crypto-related companies. “Supreme Court of India has struck off Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) banking ban against #Crypto. The Court held that RBI Circular dated 6th April 2018 is unconstitutional,” Crypto Kanoon cheered back on March 3, 2020.
Indeed, almost immediately, businesses began reestablishing relationships with India banks, and it appeared there was renewed enthusiasm, a real mood of hope among long-suffering crypto proponents in the billion-plus peopled nation. Foreign concerns, such as San Francisco-based exchange Kraken, redoubled its efforts toward India in response. Things were looking decidedly up.
Perfect Storm of Bad Timing
While the joy of access to crypto was fever-pitched for a few days, speculative market prices brought everyone back to reality. March has been a rather disastrous month for nearly every coin thus far, and that certainly makes things harder for emerging economies like India to embrace peer-to-peer electronic cash. Fiat cash is what a large number of Indians rely upon as a matter of daily course, especially considering how much of the population remains outside of the formal banking system.
If all that wasn’t enough, coronavirus took hold and evolved into a worldwide pandemic, causing at least, beyond whatever human health toll, a cascading effect of potential economic disaster. Financial engines of the globe are all locking themselves down, from China to the United States, and that alone is bound to have grave consequences for countries like India which depend on international trade.
Fiat cash, for all its ills, does appear to hold the most value and be of greater utility in the shorter term. As a result, even some traders in the West are also making similar calls to that of India’s Crypto Kanoon. “BITCOIN MASS ADOPTION HAS NOT HAPPENED,” contrary enthusiast Junior Lancaster posted in all caps to followers. “PEOPLE ARE WORRIED IF THEY’LL BE ABLE TO PAY BILLS & HAVE FOOD. MASS ADOPTION WILL NOT HAPPEN IN THIS ENVIRONMENT. PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE TO HAVE EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON RIGHT NOW. THIS IS NOT BULLISH.”
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DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.