HYDERABAD: Despite warnings from the Finance Ministry that investing in virtual currencies is like putting money in ponzi schemes, cryptocurrencies are in high demand among enthusiasts post the Bitcoin buzz.
It’s not just Bitcoin anymore — serious investors and common people are trying their luck with other virtual currencies as well. For instance, Ethereum and Ripple have been recording a steep rise in value and popularity.
“Several cryptocurrencies have been in circulation since long, but it was Bitcoin that created a storm,” says Prakhar Bindal, founder of GAMBIT conference, a knowledge-sharing and networking event that brings together investors and businesses involved in cryptocurrencies.
“Over the past one month, price of Ethereum rose from $350 to $1,100. Ripple, currently priced $2-$3, has almost doubled in value over the last week. Investors who think Bitcoin is expensive are switching to other cryptocurrencies. There are several others like Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Cash and IOTA to name a few,” Bindal adds.
“Now everyone wants to have a pie of Bitcoin and is ready to invest at least in small quantities. But as Bitcoin costs around `10 lakh, we can get only a small pie of it even if we invest `50,000 or a lakh. There are several other cryptocurrencies that are yet to become popular and are available at lesser prices. So, we are taking chance on them. While I invested `20,000 in Bitcoin and got a small fraction, I got 10 Ripples for `900, as I brought them a week ago. If the price of Ripple also goes the Bitcoin way, then I will make a fortune,” says B Jitendra, a 23-year-old IT employee from Hyderabad.
Investing in cryptocurrencies has become a trend. Even small-time investors, students and techies have joined the frenzy. The rush to invest in cryptocurrencies is so huge that several exchanges facilitating the buying and selling of virtual currencies are now asking investors to wait to process their payments.