Ever since the Indian government banned regulated entities including banks from dealing with businesses or individuals in anything related to cryptocurrencies, the Indian crypto industry took a hit. Multiple exchanges that were once starting to develop the cryptocurrency eco-system in India had to shut down.
Popular crypto exchanges Zebpay was shut down in September 2018 as a result of the government’s sudden crackdown on crypto-business. The following year saw yet another casualty in the Indian government’s war on cryptocurrencies, as Mumbai – based exchange Koinex stopped their operations. Rahul Raj, co-founder of Koinex talked about the problems that were arising due to the Indian government delaying clarification, in a blog post:
“Multiple delays by the government agencies in clarifying the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite our pending writ petition in the Supreme Court of India, coupled with regular disruption in our operations, the final decision has been taken after duly considering all the latest developments in the crypto and blockchain industry in India.”
The pressure from the government and the improper regulations became the foundation for a peer – to – peer based system that enabled the people of India to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The Peer – to – Peer system was popularised in India by another Mumbai based exchange dubbed WazirX. Launched in 2018, the platform has seen a huge growth in volume despite the regulatory hurdles that shook that Indian crypto market. Their launch of the world’s first automated P2P matching engine was an instant hit as RBI had imposed a banking ban on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Adding to its strengths, WazirX has now been acquired by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Binance. This marked the first time an Indian exchange has been acquired by an international exchange. Prior to this, WazirX had already started operations in various parts of the globe with its P2P and Crypto – Crypto transactions. Now, its P2P engine will be integrated into the Binance Fiat Gateway platform within the first quarter of 2020.
WazirX users will now be able to purchase any crypto-asset available on Binance by purchasing USDT or Tether on the WazirX P2P market.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao commented on the importance of this acquisition:
“The young demographic in India give an edge to adopt and build on new financial technologies, and I believe this will play a vital role in making India a global blockchain innovation centre to also spur cryptocurrency adoption throughout the larger public in the country. The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthens the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money.”
This comes at a time when the future of cryptocurrencies in India is still undecided. Earlier this week, The Daily Chain had reported that the draft bill asking for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies, dubbed “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of official digital Currencies,” has been delayed.
This was also a great way for Binance to tap into the Indian crypto market that could use such a boost at this stage. Indian users now have access to a wide variety of digital assets which were previously inaccessible. This acquisition will further act as a boost for the growing adaptation of cryptocurrencies in a nation this big.
Also considering this acquisition a boost for the Indian crypto community, WazirX founder Nischal Shetty said:
“This is a historic moment for crypto in India. It’s the first ever acquisition in this space and shows the potential that crypto has for Indian startup ecosystem. We will continue to expand the crypto ecosystem in India so that India can be one of the most innovative technology countries in the world.”