India (population: 1.324 billion) and China (population: 1.38 billion) are 2 of the largest countries in the world. Both classified as ‘emerging’ markets’ with young demographics, these countries arguably have the most potential to influence cryptocurrency prices with their adoption.
Yet both China and India have instituted bans on trading cryptocurrencies, effectively handicapping 2.7 billion people from accessing the crypto market.
Although Indian crypto exchanges like BtcxIndia, Unocoin, and Coinsecure have offered their services to citizens since 2013, today they face a Government Crackdowns on trading led by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India).
Despite all the pushback, up to 81% of Bitcoin mining operations are located in China, and the Government seems to have taken an interest in ranking cryptocurrencies despite banning them.
Similarly, in recent news, it appears that India’s government is not interested in a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies after all, opting instead to treat it as a regulated commodity.
Big Brother Intentions
It’s clear that both of these governments have plans to extract value from cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, one doesn’t have to investigate very far to realize that their intentions are less about liberation and more about further suppressing the economic freedom of their own citizens.
China’s central bank has already expressed interest in developing their own digital currency, no doubt to further monitor and control how citizens spend their money. The country already has a history of imposing capital controls on citizens taking money out of the country and intervening directly with trading on stock exchanges.
Meanwhile, India is taking a similar route, implementing ‘Aadhaar’, an identification system that will require fingerprint scans for food, phones and finances. This system will likely be enhanced by blockchain technology and a nationally developed digital currency.
Through national controlled digital currencies administered on the blockchain, these nations see a way to consolidate economic power that could be used to upend the global influence of the US dollar.
Today, more than 40 percent of the India’s population (536 million people) has access to telecoms and Internet services. Around 55% of China’s population (772 million people) have Internet access. Together these numbers make up 1.38 billion people, or 47% of Internet users around the world.
These users represent huge potential for the crypto space, and as their governments use blockchain technology to further restrict their economic freedom, the crypto space must develop more sophisticated privacy focused Blockchains to counter government surveillance and help 35% of the world’s population discover the true benefits of cryptocurrencies.