Could India be on the verge of making a real name for itself in the crypto space?
India: The New Big Crypto Haven?
The country has often had a very mixed relationship with digital currency, being rather hostile towards the likes of Libra and even threatening jail time for crypto users, but a new crypto merger may be what is needed to ensure digital money’s future within the country’s borders.
Crypto exchange Wazir X is now a part of arguably the world’s largest and most popular digital trading company Binance. The acquisition took place late last week. Wazir X, which initially opened in 2018, allowed customers to purchase Ethereum (ETH), bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP) along with various other cryptocurrencies.
This is the first time an India-based crypto exchange has been “absorbed” by such a large company. The move is likely to add to Wazir’s customer database and establish an entirely new crypto presence within India. A joint statement between Wazir X and Binance reads:
The next phase of mass adoption for cryptocurrencies will arise from developing nations around the world. India, with more than a billion people is primed for massive crypto adoption, and this acquisition by Binance gives us the opportunity to not only cater to India, but every developing nation where flat on-ramps must be built. The acquisition is yet another step towards achieving our shared mission with Binance of decentralizing the world.
Cryptocurrencies were originally designed to help the unbanked populations of third-world countries. India can be included among those countries in that several people likely do not have access to standard or traditional financial tools (i.e. checking and savings accounts) that allow them to incur the daily costs of life. Cryptocurrencies do not require credit checks and they do not care about your financial history the way a traditional bank would.
Instead, anyone who’s anyone can access them and potentially use them to purchase goods and services, which was originally intended to be their main use. Sadly, one of the big problems that has gotten in the way of this is crypto’s volatility. Bitcoin, for example, has recently fallen from about $9,500 in mid-November to just over $7,000 during yesterday’s early morning hours. That means in a couple of weeks, the world’s number one cryptocurrency by market cap has lost several thousand dollars.
Increasing Crypto Use in Developing Nations
Many experts believe this acquisition is a huge step towards establishing India as a serious crypto haven. In a press release, Wei Zhou - chief financial officer of Binance - explains:
Building fiat-to-crypto bridges remain a key mission for Binance, and Wazir X will help this by providing a simple and cohesive way to purchase cryptocurrencies in a country which is home to more than a billion people.