The Indian Bitcoin wallet and exchange platform Zebpay recently struck 1 million downloads of its app-only service on Android, and now forecasts half a million new users a month, up from its current rate of 200,000.

Launched in 2015, Zebpay is now among India’s major bitcoin exchanges, right next to Unocoin and Coinsecure. Unlike its competition, Zebpay has adopted an app-only model, relying on cheap mobile data tariffs and incredible smartphone adoption rates.

“We worked hard to understand and solve the pain point of understanding bitcoins! We made a key decision that mobile phones are huge in India and internet penetration is big through phones. So, we decided on an app-only presence in India.” - ” Saurabh Agarwal, Zebpay Co-Founder.

Bitcoin Legality & Zebpay's Stand

Original Source: Zebpay Blog

Recently, multiple news outlets have been reporting that bitcoin is illegal. This is what Zebpay has to say on the subject.

Is Bitcoin Illegal?

No, that is not true. Nothing has changed regarding bitcoin’s legal status in India. Bitcoin is not illegal. Bitcoin is legal under all existing laws and it is business as usual at all Indian bitcoin exchanges, including Zebpay.

Why Are People Saying It's Illegal?

Most new tech instils fear among regulators, and that's understandable because their job is to protect the economy and to protect citizens. There are similar concerns from various lobbies regarding the security of blockchain based transactions. Zebpay appreciates the genuine concerns of all regulators and politicians.

Is Bitcoin A Ponzi Scheme?


Ponzi schemes are unfortunately common. They use different modes to accept and make payments. Sahara’s chit fund was a ponzi scheme. It used Indian Rupees for payments.

Unfortunately, there are a few ponzi schemes which use bitcoin as the payment method. Just like Rupee is not a ponzi, neither is bitcoin. In fact for a few months now, we have been regularly warning our users to beware of such ponzi schemes on our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Further Reading

Charts with statistics on the screen of a laptop on a glossy surface
Photo by Carlos Muza / Unsplash

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized payment network of money, just like the Internet is a decentralized network for information and media.

So Why Shouldn’t It Be Declared Illegal?

For the same reasons that the Internet, the smartphone or a taxi hailing app should not be declared illegal despite being used for illegal activities. Because it makes far more economic sense to go after bad actors (ponzi schemes) rather than shutting down the entire technology.

What Are The Economic Benefits Of Using Bitcoin?

Some immediate ones are the potential of bitcoins in remittances and banking the unbanked. India could potentially save 7 billion USD in remittance fees paid to US companies for allowing hard working Indians to send money home to their poor families. Compare this to the **2 billion US Dollar budget **of the Indian government to feed millions of poor kids under the Mid Day Meal Scheme.

Bitcoin allows people who cannot easily open bank accounts to open bitcoin accounts and get the power of modern financial services on their mobile phones. If that happens, they can help fuel ecommerce. It can also help India build a futuristic and secure payment network by skipping the inefficient and insecure plastic card / centralized infrastructure of the western world. Just like we built modern telecom infrastructure by skipping the landline generation.