Why Are Indian Freelancers Choosing To Get Paid In Crypto?

get paid in crypto

The gig economy has seen considerable growth, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, which upended job markets across the globe. India, in particular, has experienced impressive growth in this sector. India’s gig economy sector is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17% by 2024, growing to $455 billion, and has the potential to grow to twice the pre-pandemic estimates, according to a report published by ASSOCHAM. As a result, the demand for freelancers has considerably increased, with the freelance community projected to grow to between $20 to $30 billion by 2025. 

It is also forecasted that the online freelance ecosystem could add up to $2.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. More and more Indian freelancers are looking to get paid in crypto as the market stabilizes and adoption grows.n this article, we will take a closer look at India’s freelance ecosystem, why Indian freelancers choose to be paid in crypto, and how SmartPay can help facilitate that. 

What’s Driving The Indian Freelance Boom?

India has seen an unprecedented shift in its work culture, with hybrid working models, digitization, and a thriving startup ecosystem becoming the norm. With the youngest population in the world and a burgeoning economy, millions are shunning the traditional corporate environment and choosing to work independently, on their own terms. Freelancing has caught the attention of a significant chunk of the working population as they look to expand their earning capabilities. But what is driving this boom? 

While many began freelancing to supplement their income during the pandemic, the ability to work on their own terms saw many continue and adopt the role full-time. Today, freelancers work with small businesses, startups, big international businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. Furthermore, there are also several platforms and websites that help connect freelancers with potential clients looking for services. 

The Current Indian Freelance Market

According to data available from marketresearch.com, the global freelance market size was estimated to be around $2.4 billion in 2018. Talking from a strictly Indian perspective, India is the second-fastest growing freelance economy after the Philippines. Data from the Freelancing in America 2021 survey shows that the country ranks third in the world when it comes to the number of freelancers, with the total estimated to be around 26 million. 

Today. Freelancers are in high demand, and recent statistics show that there are ample freelancing opportunities in India. Indian freelancers offer a vast suite of services that include 

  • Graphic Design 
  • Content Writing 
  • Web Development 
  • Social media services 
  • Content creation 
  • Customer support
  • Virtual assistance


Indian freelancers have demonstrated a keenness and openness in adopting new technologies and innovations, and nowhere is this seen more than in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In fact, a significant number of Indian freelancers prefer being paid in cryptocurrency over traditional money for their services. This is despite cryptocurrencies facing increased regulatory scrutiny in the country. 

But Why Get Paid In Crypto? 

But why are Indian freelancers choosing crypto over traditional payment methods? Today, freelancers prefer being paid in Bitcoin (BTC), USDT, USDC, and ETH. Several factors have contributed to this. Let’s look at each in a little more detail. 

Seamless Payments And Lower Costs 

The first and most obvious factor is the ease of making payments and low transaction fees. Traditional payment methods often have extra fees attached, increasing the cost of transactions, something which both transacting parties would like to avoid. Crypto payments also bring added efficiency by removing intermediaries from transactions. 


Crypto payments are borderless, meaning anyone can send or receive transactions. This opens the doors for earning opportunities for people based in remote corners of the globe, where access to traditional financial services such as banks is considerably more difficult. This is particularly true in India, where several areas don’t have proper financial connectivity. With a seamless cross-border payment solution at their disposal, freelancers are able to widen their client base and increase their revenue. 

Instant Settlements 

Cryptocurrency payments remove third-party intermediaries from transactions. This allows freelancers to access the funds within minutes, a crucial advantage for freelancers in the long run. 

Client Demand 

Another big reason why Indian freelancers are adopting crypto payments is because of client demand. Clients increasingly prefer to pay in crypto because it offers more privacy and security. As a result, freelancers have begun accepting crypto payments to meet client demands. 

Access To The Global Market And A New Client Base 

Accepting crypto payments has also enabled Indian freelancers to access a new customer base that prefers to pay using crypto. They can also receive payments from clients based anywhere in the world without having to worry about high transaction fees or currency conversions. Accepting crypto payments also means freelancers do not lose out on potential clients due to an incompatibility of payment methods. 

Pros And Cons Of Getting Paid In Crypto

Accepting crypto payments offers several advantages to freelancers. However, there are some downsides as well. Let’s look at some of them: 


  • Quick transactions, which means freelancers can access funds in minutes. 
  • Low transaction fees
  • Accepting crypto payments simplifies international transactions for Indian freelancers by eliminating high fees and removing intermediaries. 


  • One of the biggest drawbacks of cryptocurrencies is price volatility. You can negate this to a great extent by using stablecoins like USDT/USDC.
  • Transactions could be impacted by network congestion. 
  • As a freelancer based in India, it is imperative that you are always in the loop regarding crypto regulations. This is especially important considering the not-so-favorable view of crypto adopted by the government. 
  • While crypto means less tax, governments have woken up to tighten the regulatory noose on crypto. For example, India has announced a 30% tax on crypto, along with 1% TDS. 

What Is The Indian Government’s View On Crypto? 

While Indian freelancers have pivoted towards crypto in a big way, it is essential to factor in the government’s view on cryptocurrencies. Regulators in India have been skeptical of cryptocurrencies, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das going on record to state that the central bank had significant concerns about cryptocurrencies and the volatility experienced by them. The RBI had initially issued a circular that barred banks from dealing in digital assets, effectively shadow-banning them in the country. 

However, the central bank later instructed banks to ignore the circular restricting cryptocurrencies, but advised banks to conduct thorough due diligence when it comes to crypto transactions. As a result of this uncertainty, banks, both public and private, have moved to restrict their exposure to cryptocurrencies, given the lack of regulatory clarity and nervousness about a crackdown on cryptocurrencies or a law regulating them. Until that happens, crypto remains an attractive option for freelancers, especially if they receive overseas payments. 

The Indian government, in its 2022 budget, officially categorized digital assets, including cryptocurrencies as “Virtual Digital Assets.” It also stated in the budget that any income from the transfer of Virtual Digital Assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs would be taxed at 30%. Furthermore, 1% TDS would be applicable on all sell transactions involving Virtual Digital Assets, including cryptocurrencies. 

How Can Indian Freelancers Accept Crypto Payments Using SmartPay?

SmartPay is CoinSmart’s latest offering and is a payments processing platform that allows users and businesses to send and receive crypto payments. SmartPay is a payments processing platform that allows you to receive or send cryptocurrency payments without requiring any prior technical know-how. 

Thanks to SmartPay, freelancers can access an efficient and cost-effective way of collecting crypto payments and issuing their invoices. Thanks to SmartPay, freelancers access clients that are comfortable paying for services using crypto. Furthermore, SmartPay is also incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is create an account on the platform and get started. If you wish to get started with or know more about SmartPay, you can visit the official website here

In Closing 

Despite the uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in India, Indian freelancers have embraced crypto payments. With the surging popularity of crypto, its adoption is only set to grow. Accepting crypto payments has revolutionized how freelancers and clients interact and conduct transactions. Removing intermediaries has resulted in faster and more efficient transactions, removing intermediaries and allowing freelancers to increase revenue.

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are strictly for information purposes only. The opinions expressed in this blog do not have any connection to CoinSmart, and they do not aim to provide you with investment advice. It is important that you do your personal research and/or consult an investment advisor to determine what is right for you.