Indian crypto industry expanding, regulators seem reluctant to engage

The people of India are awaiting access to crypto banking services, as British-based fintech firm Cashaa has collaborated with India’s United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society to launch a crypto-centric banking company called Unicas that will initially open 34 branches in Northern India and plans to have expanded to 100 branches by next year.

Considering that India is largely a savings-driven economy, Unicas will also offer crypto saving accounts that pay interest on deposited crypto. This could act as a catalyst for co-operative credit societies in India to enter the market and make the most of this opportunity.

But overall, the Indian crypto industry has seen enormous growth both in volumes and new clients since its Supreme Court removed a two-year ban on banks servicing cryptocurrency exchanges in March 2020. Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX — a crypto exchange based in India — told Cointelegraph:

“The Indian crypto ecosystem has been growing tremendously since the Supreme Court lifted the banking ban on crypto in India. […] The positive verdict was immediately followed by a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This period has also given people more time at hand to read about crypto and participate in it.”

Ashu Swami, the chief technology officer of Apifiny — a cryptocurrency liquidity and solutions provider based in New York — attributes this growth to the increasing evidence of Bitcoin (BTC) becoming a safe haven and the ease of making inward remittances to the country with cryptocurrencies. “Senders are realizing that virtual currencies are a more efficient medium,” hence the growth in demand. He further added:

“The INR has been highly volatile, having depreciated over 80% vs. the USD in the last decade. Gold is very hard to trade and has high transaction costs; real-estate has been in a slump since the demonetization of 2016; and the stocks are at record high valuations, and many believe they are due for a correction any time…

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