Cryptocurrencies

Securing India's Next Generation Of Growth With Crypto Assets

By Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of CoinDCX

Over the years, we’ve seen India quickly climb the ranks to become a technological powerhouse, as it recognizes and embraces advancements in digital assets at pace with the rest of the world. The implementation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has contributed to massive growth in the adoption of digital payments in India, driving the nation’s digital economy boom. In the last fiscal year alone, the instant real-time payment system reported a threefold increase in value and number of transactions, which jumped to 2,732 million transactions, worth ₹5,04,886 crore as of March 2021. With the yet untapped potential of India’s close to 1.4 billion population, and as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, I believe that our nation is presented with the unique opportunity to capitalize on the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. 

Despite around 622 million active internet users, only 15 million Indians are exposed to cryptocurrencies, indicating that there’s still tremendous potential for growth in the number of crypto investors and traders in the nation. Much like how the internet has fundamentally altered the way we live and work, digital assets have the potential to change the way we participate in the global financial system, engendering greater inclusion and economic growth. In my opinion, India is well-positioned to be part of this next wave of innovation, nurturing the economic opportunity it brings while continuing to protect privacy and stability. As institutional interest around digital assets continues to grow, tapping into India's dynamic and digital-first populace will support the optimism from investors and set the stage for a new generation of growth.

Opportunities On The Rise

As awareness and interest around cryptocurrencies continues to grow in the market, we’re seeing a wealth of job and career opportunities which this industry has created. This rising demand for crypto assets is clearly reflected in the intense war for talent and the growing number of jobs within the industry — a quick search will show that there are over 2,000 open roles mentioning “bitcoin,” “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” across job search platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster. Even Fortune 500 companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, Apple and PayPal are hiring for cryptocurrency positions.

In addition to the creation of jobs, we’ve also seen an influx of foreign investments into India’s crypto startups, thanks to the enormous potential of our IT developers and entrepreneurs here. According to a report by data intelligence platform Tracxn, investments into Indian crypto and blockchain startups have increased by over 1482% in the last five years. In my view, India must take advantage of the current interest and momentum in digital assets and push forward clear regulations to bolster the industry and maintain its competitiveness on the world stage.

Nurturing Startups and Future Unicorns

In recent years, numerous venerated international funds and entrepreneur investors have been progressively investing in blockchain and crypto startups founded by Indians. This can be seen as a deliberate move by investors to gain exposure to India’s crypto sector and take advantage of its immense potential for growth. Just recently, CoinDCX announced a successful US$90 million Series C funding round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital Group, becoming India's first cryptocurrency unicorn with a valuation of US$1.1 billion. The record-breaking valuation we’ve seen highlights how investors are finding alternative ways to gain exposure to the digital assets industry, by acquiring stakes in private startups developing technology for digital currencies and the distributed networks that underpin them. The bullish sentiment towards India’s tech scene in turn encourages other potential investors and gives entrepreneurs the confidence to take the leap in setting up their own business.

Our government has set a target of becoming a US$5 trillion economy by 2030, and I’m confident that the next decade will be India’s chance to shine on the global stage. We are already witnessing a growing base of world-class crypto projects being created in India, and I believe nurturing the growth of startups and future unicorns in the digital assets space will enable India to continue reaping the benefits of our technology-forward initiatives, improving global reputation and competitiveness, job prospects and talent creation.

Unlocking The Economic Value Of Digital Assets 

Across the globe, we are seeing a sharp rise in cryptocurrency investments. Outpacing the rest of the world in digital asset adoption, the top five nations when it comes to bitcoin ownership are all located in Asia. In India, where households own more than 25,000 tonnes of gold, crypto investments grew from about $923 million in April 2020 to nearly $6.6 billion in May 2021. This represents a nearly 612% rise in the number of cryptocurrency users in our country.

Millennial and Gen Z Indians, in particular, have demonstrated a preference for investing in bitcoin over the conventional metals, property and stocks — for transparency and the growth it offers. Furthermore, with decreasing data costs and the increasing availability of smartphones and high-speed connectivity, even our nation’s lower-income states have seen a boost in internet users, bridging a previously wide digital divide. As one of the largest emerging markets in terms of growth and future potential, I’m certain that India will soon rise to become a leader in the digital assets industry as the barriers to entry get easier. 

Leveraging crypto innovation to bolster the strength of the future economy is a tremendous opportunity for India right now, and foregoing the potential growth currently within reach would be a missed opportunity. As such, it is crucial for us to take advantage of the momentum the industry is currently witnessing, to build out a forward-looking legal framework that allows cryptocurrency companies to operate and contribute to the broader economy. At the same time, the crypto community needs to maintain open dialogue with the government and assist them in developing forward-looking solutions and frameworks to encourage innovation and growth. In doing so, I’m confident that we will be able to unlock the full economic value of the industry and secure the next generation of growth in India.

About Sumit Gupta

Sumit Gupta is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CoinDCX, India’s safest cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity aggregator. Beginning his journey in the world of business at the age of eight, Sumit showed an early proclivity for entrepreneurship. When Bitcoin began gaining traction in 2014, Sumit saw the potential of leveraging blockchain technology to enable financial inclusion. He actualised this vision by founding CoinDCX, which has grown to become India’s safest cryptocurrency exchange. At CoinDCX, Sumit has been the driving force behind driving crypto adoption to reach 50 million Indians. To turn that statement into a reality, Sumit has been instrumental in introducing CoinDCX Go, an app that simplifies buying and selling crypto in minimal steps, through INR. He holds an Undergraduate and Master’s degree from the prestigious institution, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

About CoinDCX

CoinDCX is India’s safest cryptocurrency exchange and the nation’s first crypto unicorn. Established in 2018, CoinDCX became India’s 22nd unicorn following a USD 90 million Series C funding round led by former Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital. 

Built with user experience and security in mind, CoinDCX provides instant fiat to crypto conversions with zero fees, so that users can access a diverse suite of financial products and services that are backed by industry-leading security processes and insurance protection. Recognised and awarded for its contribution to the Indian emerging tech space, CoinDCX offers users a single-point access to a diverse suite of crypto-based financial products and services:

Insta - Provides fiat onboarding from INR to crypto
Spot - Gives access to trade cryptocurrencies across 500+ markets
Lend - Decentralized lending service wherein users can earn 10% APR
Margin - With up to 6x leverage trades across more than 250 markets
Stake - Users can earn passive income by staking their cryptos
CoinDCX is also certified as a Great Place to Work
For more information, visit https://coindcx.com/

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.