Bitcoin has become a new hope for investors looking to grow their savings. The growing interest in digital currency has brought Bitcoin to the mainstream and popularized many of its fellow cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has seen nearly 276 percent growth in the past year – from $9,826.45 (approximately Rs. 7,17,600) to $36,928.24 (roughly Rs. 26,96,400). Many people have started putting their money into cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets worldwide. This comes when most countries have no regulations for cryptocurrencies, while some countries have banned them. Does that mean it’s safe enough to invest your hard-earned money?

In this week’s Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host Akhil Arora chats with Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, and Alok Jain, founder of investment advisory WeekendInvesting, to discuss Bitcoin and all things investing in cryptocurrencies.

While there is a huge interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, few understand it. Still, many people want to know if they should invest in cryptocurrencies as an alternative to traditional stocks and mutual funds. There are many pros and cons. Bitcoin has been the best-performing asset in recent years, but the Bitcoin price in India suffers from volatility for short periods. In addition, regulators around the world have begun to restrict transactions. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India effectively banned cryptocurrency transactions. However, that decision was rejected by the Supreme Court in March last year.

Since cryptocurrency is based on blockchain technology that is not specific to digital coins, it can be used to record all transactions and build a digital ledger. Investment banking groups such as JPMorgan explored blockchain technology for purposes such as debt issuance. Several governments worldwide have also expressed interest in technology to build digital economies. However, the main use of blockchain has been the issuance of cryptocurrencies.

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Because of and despite its decentralized nature, cryptocurrencies are often affected when some major investors make an alternate move or when an influencer like Elon Musk says something. This can make the price of cryptocurrencies rise quickly in a short period as it generates a lot of interest from the general public who have not bothered to read what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin are worth.

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Exchanges, including WazirX, have also moved beyond cryptocurrency trading and have begun developing marketplaces for non-replaceable tokens, commonly referred to as NFTs, which are intended for digital assets. In addition to NFTs, we also discuss the future potential and use cases of blockchains – and what makes cryptocurrencies central to a decentralized world.

You can listen to the full Orbital discussion by hitting the play button on the Spotify player above. Follow the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate us and leave a review.

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