Decrypting the crypto story: emerging trends and opportunities in the Indian market
In a recent conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch powered by HSBC, Rajagopal Menon, Vice President, WazirX, and Ravindra Kumar, CEO and Co-founder, Frontier, join in for an intriguing discussion on the rising trends, opportunities, and concerns in the Indian crypto market.
India is experiencing a massive adoption of cryptocurrency. Established economic patterns were disrupted during the pandemic, and we witnessed the emergence of new modes of learning, working, transacting, and investing. According to a report by Bloomberg, crypto investments in India increased by about 400 percent in a year, from $923 million in April 2020 to nearly $6.6 billion in May 2021.
To examine the reasons for this huge adoption and to discuss the upcoming trends and possibilities in the Indian market, Rajagopal Menon, Vice President, WazirX and Ravindra Kumar, CEO and Co-founder, Frontier, join in on a panel hosted by YourStory’s Daily Dispatch.
Apart from the pandemic, Rajagopal says the current scenario in Russia and Ukraine has made people realise how wars may affect any country's economy.
In these situations, "crypto becomes a beacon of hope," he says.
Adding to that, Ravindra says that decentralised finance is gaining traction. However, he believes that this sector in India is now at the replication stage of traditional finance, with more developments expected in the coming years.
Rajagopal claims WazirX is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in India, with approximately 11 million users. WazirX reported that by the end of 2021, its trading volume had risen to more than $43 billion. With that kind of transaction taking place by such a limited number of users, in comparison to India's huge population, Rajagopal says that "the sky is the limit when it comes to crypto."
“No asset in the history of mankind has given such ROI,” he adds.
In terms of government regulations, he remarks it is good that the government did not interfere too much, and now that the space is to be regularised, a lot more work will be required to do so.
When it comes to user interests, Ravindra says people enter the market to invest but stay for a number of reasons, including self-custody. “[Going forward] people will opt for self-custodial wallet,” he says. Another intriguing development in the crypto world, he claims, is that the venture capitalists who previously invested in SaaS-based products have begun to invest in crypto products as well.
When asked where this kind of growth in the number of users is coming from, Rajagopal says that users are from all over India, from small villages and townships to major cities. He claims that their user base has increased by 40 percent in a year.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to Rajagopal, are most likely to gain traction in India. Ravindra claims that Frontier is the first wallet to support NFTs.
Both Rajagopal and Ravindra concluded the discussion by stating that artists can benefit greatly from cryptocurrency transactions by receiving 100 percent of the revenue, as opposed to what they receive on platforms such as YouTube. According to Rajagopal, these platforms retain approximately 80 percent of the revenue.
Edited by Anju Narayanan