Ahead of Diwali, two of Bollywood’s leading men are offering yet another option during India’s annual gold shopping spree: cryptocurrencies.
India’s top two crypto platforms each have tapped stars – one, Amitabh Bachchan, may be the most famous Indian actor ever – to promote cryptocurrencies as a better and easier investment ahead of Dhanteras, the Hindu calendar. The happiest day in Buy gold or start new ventures. Indians have expanded their Diwali investments to include stocks, real estate, diamonds and other assets.
Cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bangalore-based CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX are touting bitcoin as another option. In an ad for CoinSwitch, Ranveer Singh, the star of some of the country’s biggest blockbusters, gives a rap in Hindi about how simple crypto trading can be.
Coinswitch speaks of crypto!
Get started on India’s biggest crypto app!
download @CoinSwitch Kuber And your crypto journey is only Rs. start with. 100. #something will change#RanveerXCoinSwitchpic.twitter.com/UARczFV8Za
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) 8 October 2021
However, ease may not be of central concern. The Reserve Bank of India effectively banned cryptocurrency trading until the restrictions were lifted by the courts in March 2020. Since then, the government has toyed with crypto governance legislation that could change the landscape for investors.
Tapping the celebrity pitchman helps bring crypto into the mainstream and adds a measure of respect, especially in Bachchan’s case. Apart from being a voice, Bachchan has been the celebrity face of RBI’s campaign against online and other banking frauds.
India’s plan for a virtual rupee aside, the RBI criticizes cryptocurrencies, advocating that the government ban them. According to a person familiar with the developments, officials met Bachchan over the weekend to reiterate their concerns. Star said it would reconsider its relationship with CoinDCX, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
Representatives from the central bank and CoinDCX did not respond to questions sent by message or email. Calls and text messages to Bachchan and his representative went unanswered.
The star of blockbuster films like Padmaavat and Gully Boy, Singh’s fan base is geared towards YOLO Millennials as well as Indians from small towns. The CoinSwitch tie-up happened recently; The platform is the largest crypto portal in the country with 10 million users till date.
Other Indian exchanges have attempted to demystify crypto for first time investors, making it possible to buy or sell with two or three clicks.
Many global figures have made space for digital coins. In the US, soccer star Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen have a stake in FTX and costars in their advertising campaigns. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg have also supported various crypto dramas.
According to a survey by Morning Consult, the pitch works, at least by one measurement: about 45% of crypto investors said they would invest based on the endorsement of a celebrity. Roughly 20% of investors said they could be seduced by A-listers.