India has become increasingly attractive to new crypto businesses and investors from all over the world now that the supreme court has lifted the banking ban. Some companies are expanding operations into the Indian market while others are investing in the country’s crypto ecosystem.
Businesses Expanding Into India
After the supreme court quashed the banking ban imposed by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a number of companies worldwide have expressed their interest in the Indian crypto sector.
Global bitcoin exchange Kraken announced on Monday its recommitment to the Indian market. The San Francisco-based company, with offices in several countries, explained that its growth in India had been limited by the RBI’s 2018 circular which prohibited banks from opening accounts for crypto exchanges. Kraken has “long served the Indian market with a full suite of exchange products, including spot, derivatives and futures, all complete with best-in-class security and execution,” the team noted, elaborating:
Armed with the ability to expand our offering, Kraken is excited to recommit resources to grow its service in the region through new features and offerings.
Kraken is not the only international crypto company committed to growing its operations in India. Even before the banking ban was lifted, Binance had been focusing on growing its services in the country. The company acquired local crypto exchange Wazirx in November last year. U.K.-based crypto banking platform Cashaa began supporting INR for Indian users in October last year and has since been ramping up its offerings for Indian users. Its CEO recently launched a roadshow to prepare Indian crypto enthusiasts for the next bull run. Other companies that have expressed interest in the Indian market include Kucoin and Paxful.
Investments Flowing Into Indian Crypto Economy
Not only are businesses expanding operations in India, but some companies are also planning to inject capital into the Indian crypto ecosystem. Global software company Hashcash Consultants, for example, announced on Monday:
Hashcash Consultants is planning to invest $10 million in the recently revived Indian crypto industry in 2020.
The company operates U.S.-based crypto exchange Paybito and crypto payment processor Billbitcoins. According to its website, Hashcash has a presence in 26 countries and more than 100 enterprises use its products, such as for retail remittances, corporate payments, trade finance and payment processing.
The company now focuses on expanding its network in Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and India, Monday’s announcement reveals.
Interest in Cryptocurrencies Growing in India
On Monday, the Economic Times reported that India has become one of the 10 most popular locations to start a business according to an analysis conducted by marketing and analytics firm Semrush. The firm studied 606 fintech companies in India and analyzed related Google search data over the past four years.
According to Semrush, the leading domains by web traffic were Billdesk, Paytm, and NSE India. Most visitors were between the ages of 25 and 34. Overall, 36% of the searches were made by women. The most searched cryptocurrencies were bitcoin, ignis, ethereum, nano, and XRP, the publication conveyed. The Indian states with the most search interest in investing were Delhi, Haryana, and Karnataka. The states with the largest number of searches for buying bitcoin were Haryana, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Kerala.
Supreme Court Verdict Turning the Tide for India
Following the RBI ban, several crypto businesses either moved overseas or ceased their operations altogether. “When a regulator, like RBI, bans, the market closes down,” Blocksurvey CEO Wilson Bright was quoted by the Economic Times as saying. “Six months back, we pivoted from crypto to blockchain, as we had to sustain. No investor was ready to back us amid the uncertainty of regulations.” Incrypt Blockchain founder Nitin Sharma told the publication, “From my perspective, hopefully, the funding environment for startups gets better as funds no longer have to worry as much about regulatory clarity.”
Hashcash Consultants CEO Raj Chowdhury welcomed the supreme court verdict, stating:
This is a historic judgment by supreme court that puts India back in the global crypto map. The reinstating of cryptocurrency activities has opened up an entire geography, for fresh collaborations and ventures for the global players, forecasting prospects for the crypto industry and the Indian economy at large.
“With over 1 billion population, the Indian market is a sleeping giant,” Wazirx CEO Nischal Shetty shared with news.Bitcoin.com. “I’m confident that this judgment will have a positive impact on the global crypto ecosystem. This will lead to more startups in crypto in India. Hundreds of startups will be created. VC investment will activate in the sector. More jobs.”
Do you think many more companies will enter the Indian crypto space now that the banking ban has been lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Hashcash Consultants.
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