On 9 July, the Times of India’s Sunday edition carried a full front-page advertisement for Cryptocurrency for Beginners: an e-book written by the entrepreneur Amit Bhardwaj, priced at a steep Rs 1,499. The ad boasted that the book was “Introducing everyone to the world of cryptocurrencies and how it is changing the financial landscape.” Around the same time, Bhardwaj also issued front-page ads in other major dailies, including The Hindu, the Economic Times and Dainik Jagaran.
The promotional campaign for Cryptocurrency for Beginners has been extensive. In addition to the newspaper ads, sponsored posts ran on several publications—prominentIndianoutlets such as NDTV’s Profit, Hindu Business Line, and the Indian Express, as well as cryptocurrency-focussedwebsitessuch as the Bitcoin News and News BTC. The official site on which people can purchase Bhardwaj’s book even displays links to effusive tweets about it from a handful of celebrities, among them the actors Shilpa Shetty, Vir Das and Nargis Fakhri.