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OKEx CEO Talk: The Indian Crypto Landscape


India has been catching my attention for its rapid crypto development. In the world’s second-largest populated country, crypto is on the rise thanks to the aggressive monetary policies of its central bank in response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries around the world are busy printing money in order to keep up the market liquidity, yet it gradually decreases the purchasing power of their local currencies. More people are noticing this and have started to hedge their portfolios towards crypto as an investment alternative, especially in India. Today, more Indians are embracing crypto to offset the depreciation of Indian rupee.

I think that there are multiple factors contributing to the development of crypto in India. Crypto is used for two major applications in the country – a cross-border remittance medium, and a vehicle currency for converting Rupee into more stable fiat currencies, such as the US Dollar.

Crypto for International Remittance

Also the world’s largest population outflow country, India had more than 17 million immigrants in 2019, which contributed to the strong demand for international remittance.

Yet the global remittance fees in India are unreasonably high due to the large demand (the country recorded USD 5.67 billion in remittance fee in 2019). Obviously, Indians need a better way out for their cross-border payment. Using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a cross-border payment medium is the best feasible solution for them.

Since March 4, 2020, the Supreme Court of India has struck off the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) banking ban against cryptocurrencies, India’s overall cryptocurrency market has become prosperous again, especially reflected in crypto exchanges’ trading volume. Due to large remittance demand, I believe that it will drive the prosperity of digital currency growth in India for a long time.

Crypto as vehicle currency for converting Rupee into more stable fiat currencies

Deflation depreciates the value of Indian rupee, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic, where the exchange rate between rupee and the US dollar is still climbing.

India has always had a large demand for the US Dollar for online shopping, streaming subscriptions, etc. Whether it is due to rupee preservation or consumer demand, with the constant depreciation of the rupee, the Indians have a strong need to convert their rupee into a more stable fiat currency. However, the strict foreign exchange regulations have made it very difficult to convert rupee directly to the dollar, so most Indians opt to convert rupee to Bitcoin and then to the dollar via P2P trading platforms or chat groups, such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook.

After the two-year ban on crypto trading in the country was lifted, the Indian economy is expected to move towards a freer and fairer market where they are allowed to freely exchange the US dollar with Bitcoin. According to data from Similarweb, during Q1 2020, the website traffic of major crypto exchanges from India has increased. Among them, OKEx’s visits from India saw the highest increase, reaching 545.56%. It is foreseeable that the market competition in India will become increasingly fierce.

The OKEx India Plan

At present, the Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem is still under development and is gradually improving in terms of exchanges, media, and infrastructure. Here at OKEx, we want to complete the crypto trading ecosystem in India by connecting Indian users to the international trading markets.

To cope with the increasing demand, we are rolling out services tailored for the Indian market to facilitate the trading of the people. Stay tuned to my Twitter or OKEx’s official channel for the announcement!

Meanwhile, if you are interested to know more about the current crypto ecosystem in India, OKEx has partnered with Coinpaprika and co-written a report to share insights from a global perspective. The OKEx x Coinpaprika Report – Mapping out India’s Blockchain Ecosystem discusses various new markets that are rapidly growing worldwide in terms of trading volume. You can download the report here.

Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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