Ahead of Diwali, two of Bollywood’s biggest men are promoting Bitcoin (BTC) as an alternative to India’s annual gold spending binge. Before Dhanteras, the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for buying gold or starting new ventures, India’s top two crypto platforms have each tapped celebrities — one, Amitabh Bachchan, maybe the most famous Indian actor of all time — to promote cryptocurrencies as a superior and easy investment. Diwali investments have extended to encompass equities, real estate, jewels, and other assets.
Bitcoin (BTC) is being promoted as an alternative by cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bangalore-based CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX. In a commercial for CoinSwitch, Ranveer Singh, who has starred in some of the country’s most popular films, raps in Hindi on how simple crypto trading can be.
However, ease of use may not be the most important consideration. Until the courts removed the limitations in March 2020, the Reserve Bank of India essentially prohibited cryptocurrency trading. Since then, the government has toyed with crypto governance laws, which may drastically alter the investment landscape.
Recruiting celebrity pitchmen aids in the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency and, in Bachchan’s case, provides a level of credibility. Bachchan has been the celebrity face of the RBI’s campaign against financial fraud, both online and offline, in addition to being a voice-of-god baritone.
Aside from India’s ambitions for a virtual rupee, the RBI continues to be critical of cryptocurrencies, urging the government to ban them. According to a source familiar with the situation, authorities met with Bachchan over the weekend to voice their worries. The celebrity indicated he’d reevaluate his partnership with CoinDCX, according to the source, who asked not to be identified since the information is confidential.
The central bank and CoinDCX representatives did not react to texts or emails addressed to them. Bachchan’s and his representative’s calls and texts went unanswered.
Singh’s fan base is primarily made up of YOLO millennials and small-town Indians. The CoinSwitch partnership is new; the platform is the country’s largest crypto portal, with more than 10 million users.
Other Indian exchanges have sought to demystify cryptocurrency for newcomers by allowing them to purchase and sell with just two or three clicks.