Cryptocurrency startups continue to expand in India despite uncertain future3 min read . Updated: 18 Jun 2020, 04:09 PM IST
- The crypto market has gained momentum since March when the Supreme Court lifted the Reserve Bank of India's controversial ban on the trade of the virtual currency
BENGALURU: Cryptocurrency startups continue to expand and launch products in India amid reports of a government bill floated by the finance ministry for inter-ministerial consultations that could ban the virtual currency.
The crypto market has gathered momentum since March when the Supreme Court (SC) lifted the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) controversial ban on the trade of the digital currency in the country.
Founders of cryptocurrency startups are optimistic on the future of this form of currency in India and believe the Centre will not impose another ban.
“I don’t think there is anything to worry about as of now. The news article is based on a note which isn’t clear on whether the finance ministry intends to work upon the old draconian crypto bill or whether they plan to work on bringing a new bill," said Nischal Shetty, chief executive officer (CEO), WazirX, a Mumbai-based crypto exchange.
“Banning is not a solution and I do not believe India will go for a sub-optimal solution here. India has been progressing in the right direction when it comes to technology. I am optimistic we will follow the footsteps of developed countries that have accepted crypto and introduced positive regulations," Shetty said.
Earlier this week, cryptocurrency exchange, CoinDCX, launched a new online platform and subsidiary, DCX Learn, to provide educational content for cryptocurrency and blockchain. The launch of DCX Learn follows the company’s $3-million Series A funding round from American private investment firm, Bain Capital and others, as well as strategic investment of an additional $2.5 million from Coinbase Ventures and Polychain Capital.
Sumit Gupta, co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX, believes the timing to launch their new product is precise. “We don’t see the recent news on a possible ban as a major concern immediately. With all the confusion around regulations, there is in fact even higher need for people to understand the technology and DCX Learn offers that," Gupta said.
On 1 June, cryptocurrency aggregator, CoinSwitch, launched an Indian rupee (INR) cryptocurrency exchange mobile application named Kuber, exclusively for the Indian market. CoinSwitch Kuber supports over 100 cryptocurrencies for users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets with the INR.
“Following the announcement of the pre-launch of CoinSwitch Kuber in May, our user signups have already reached over 100,000 users, far exceeding our initial targets," said Ashish Singhal, co-founder & CEO, CoinSwitch. “By offering a simplified and accessible route into crypto via a mobile application, CoinSwitch Kuber can drive crypto adoption in India."
Paxful, a global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, recently expanded operations in India to tap into the generation of financially-independent Indians. In a survey released by the company about the future potential of cryptocurrency in India the country, 75.8% respondents said they relied on digital currencies to transfer money.
“The Indian market holds great potential and importance for the future of the crypto-economy. We are actively focusing our efforts on bringing cryptocurrency to the masses across the nation to aid the eradication of poverty, boost economies, and create jobs, especially in the post covid-19 economy," said Ray Youssef, co-founder & CEO, Paxful.
Earlier this month, Pundi X, a leading developer of blockchain-powered devices, created a platform to enable cryptocurrency usage in retail Point of Sale (PoS) through a mobile app and contactless payment card. According to the Singapore-headquartered company, India is already the largest market for its XWallet mobile app launched in 2018.
Experts believe the future is bright for cryptocurrency though entrepreneurs must be mindful of the still-evolving regulatory landscape in India.
“But the Indian Supreme Court ruling was very positive and has provided more regulatory clarity in India...To be competitive in the blockchain technology race, India must create a welcoming environment for crypto talent and investment. We believe more and more Indian policymakers are coming to understand this and we are very optimistic about the future of crypto in India," said Garrick Hileman, head of research, Blockchain.com.