With an ever-growing craze of cryptocurrencies in India, there is also an increasing scepticism and aversion among youngsters who either do not understand the esoteric technology that runs this currency, or are unsure of its future. With a foray of Bollywood stars, however, everything appears convincing and within a reach of commonfolk.
Ranveer Singh’s latest advert on crypto trading was shared on CoinSwitch Kuber’s official handle where the actor gets into his Gully Boy groove and urges his friends in a typical roadside Mumbaikar lingo to start using CoinSwitch app. The advert’s implicit message is that just anyone can buy and sell cryptos on the app -- even the Mumbai slum dwellers.
In another ad, Ranveer Singh, again in his Gully Boy avatar, is trying to convince his friends in a garage that crypto trading on CoinSwitch is not hard, but very simple.
Another TV commercial of CoinDCX starring Ayushmann Khurrana tries to bust the fear which haunts most new crypto investors. This advertising asserts that only qualitative currencies are traded here, and it is safe and in fact, it is the future.
Not to mention that these TV commercials end with a disclaimer that cryptocurrency is unregulated digital currency and not a legal tender in India.
The star quotient
When Bollywood stars promote something, it is seen as a trend which sends a message to masses that this should be done not because it is important or safe, but because it is trending.
Other countries are also witnessing a barrage of crypto advertising, which can be a little overboard.
In the UK, for instance, the Advertising Standards Authority asked a crypto advertisement to be withdrawn because it was found to be misleading. The key reasons for objection were that the advertisement suggested that bitcoin can be an alternative to keeping money in the bank, and the disclosure on risk was printed in tiny fonts.
Not only crypto currencies, the NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which also use the same technology of blockchain have also caught Bollywood’s fancy. Amitabh Bachchan recently announced the launch of his NFT tokens which will include autographed posters of his movies.
Soon after this, Salman Khan also announced plans to launch his NFTs via BollyCoin.
It is an NFT marketplace that would auction Hindi cinema's digital assets to fans and enthusiasts.
Ayaan Agnihotri, co-founder of BollyCoin, said within a few days of launch by Salman Khan, the platform sold 8 million of the total 20 million Bolly Coins that can be used to buy NFTs when they are open for launch.
The Government of India seems geared to tighten the noose around cryptocurrencies in India as it prepared ‘The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021’ that intends to ban private cryptocurrencies in India. But so far, the bill has not been tabled since the government is still in the process of having extensive deliberations with all the stakeholders.
Prior to this, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in 2018, banned all crypto transactions via banks in India, but the ban was later lifted by the Supreme Court in March 2020.
Until there are well-defined rules and guidelines, these crypto exchanges can have a field day. And, so can these Bollywood stars.