Opportunities for Cryptocurrencies in Raising Money: Zebpay

People have understood the potential of cryptocurrencies and consider this as a new asset-class

Nischint Sanghavi, head of Exchange, Zebpay.

Established in 2015 and headquartered in Mumbai, Zebpay is India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange. Users can download Zebpay app to trade in cryptocurrencies. The Zebpay app has more than 3,000,000 users across Google Play and Apple App store. The app is available on Android and iPhone.

Zebpay is also one of the members of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of the IAMAI, an industry association in India.

Nischint Sanghavi, head of Exchange, Zebpay, tells Pradeep Chakraborty more about the emerging Altcoins and status of cryptocurrencies across India. Excerpts:

BW CIO: What are the new emerging Altcoins and other cryptocurrencies in India?

Nischint Sanghavi: The top five cryptocurrencies across the globe are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin and Ripple. These account for almost 80 percent of the total market capitalisation of the cryptocurrency universe. Indians have also taken a great interest in these cryptocurrencies. You can buy, sell and trade in all these cryptocurrencies on our Zebpay platform.

BW CIO: What is the potential and growth of these cryptocurrencies in India and other countries?

Nischint Sanghavi: Cryptocurrencies represent a new global asset class, its a technological innovation that can no longer be ignored. There are multiple fields where cryptocurrencies have shown tremendous potential.

India is the largest inward remittance market at more than $70 billion per year. It is believed that cryptocurrencies can significantly bring down transaction costs, and these benefits directly go to the lower-middle and middle-class recipients.

There are opportunities for cryptocurrencies to be used in raising money, as a mode of exchange, store of value and trade finance in India, as well as globally. The industry is constantly innovating, so we will see cryptocurrencies being used in a way that we cannot imagine currently.

In India, there is a potential for direct and indirect job opportunities of more than 1 lac and much more, globally, in the coming year in this industry. Cryptocurrencies can have a $1 trillion market cap in the near future. India can target to get a fair share of this market resulting in leading innovations, greater tax collections, job and economic development opportunities.

BW CIO: What is the current landscape of cryptocurrencies in India?

Nischint Sanghavi: As per the industry estimates, there are around 5 million people who are trading in cryptocurrencies in India. People have understood the potential of cryptocurrencies and they consider this as a new asset-class. The constant demand and surge have made the cryptocurrency exchanges introduce newer coins other than Bitcoin.

With the price of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies coming down to more realistic levels, users are now also focusing on the technology and looking at cryptocurrencies more from a longer-term horizon. There are multiple exchanges in India. Zebpay, being the industry leader, and is the most trusted player. Zebpay and most top exchanges follow best practices in the industry for KYC, AML and investor protection.

BW CIO: Please elaborate on the legality of Bitcoins in India.

Nischint Sanghavi: Crypto-assets in India are not yet a legal tender, and this has been mentioned by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech. It has been accepted by the industry. However, what does it really mean?

As per the Reserve Bank of India, only currency notes and coins are considered as legal tender. Thus, it can be noted that even gold, stocks and bonds are not considered legal tender but that doesn’t make these assets illegal either, the same principle can be applied to crypto-assets as well.

There is an inclination on the Government’s side on regulating the industry. There have been two committees formed by the Finance Ministry to give their vision on crypto-assets in India. The earlier committee's report was submitted last year, while the second committee's report is yet to be submitted to the Government. It is expected to be by the end of the current fiscal year, as per Subhash Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and also the head of the Government-appointed Committee.


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