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India Residents Buy, Sell Cryptos With Rupee Again

Despite talks of the Indian government planning to introduce a bill to ban cryptocurrency in Parliament this winter session, India residents have been presented with a means to deposit Indian Rupee (INR) to buy and sell cryptocurrencies which has not been possible for several months.

Since Wednesday Oct. 23, Cashaa has been enabling users of their wallet to buy Bitcoin with INR. The launch marks a new beginning for the more than five million crypto users in India that have been denied such access since July 2019 when their government forbade banks and other financial institutions in the country from providing crypto-related services.

The lack of access to crypto in India through banks gives the Cashaa platform, which seeks to use blockchain technology to enable the banked and unbanked business and individuals to participate in the global economy, to gain partnerships that made it be the first company to enable INR deposits and purchases of crypto in India.

“Yes it’s working well. First day transaction was over 1 million dollars,” says the CEO of CashaaKumar Gaurav, about the launch. “With the banking relationship we got, I don’t feel we will have any issue to cater the market in India until it’s declared completely illegal like drugs.”

Before now, India’s Reserve Bank‘s stance on cryptocurrencies has been put to test as a potential huge market for the emerging digital asset class. It says cryptocurrencies pose no systemic risks for now but their increasing popularity could lead to price bubbles that can affect consumer and investor protection and market integrity. At the same time, exchanges in India have struggled with some operational restrictions which even made some of them to shut down. Gaurav explains how he thinks that they have solved the main challenge other exchanges in India had in the past and why they don’t expect anything to hinder the free flow of INR to BTC transactions in the nearest future.

He says: “We are not a centralised platform. Compared to existing platforms which are in India – they are P2P but the crypto wallet is centralized – we are not only P2P but also our crypto wallet is completely decentralised. But due to our vast network of liquidity providers and traders in India, we have built an intelligent system which in (the) background does all the P2P work (and) makes it smooth like buying from Coinbase but in India.”

Aside liquidity, the two other issues existing P2P exchanges in India are currently struggling with are ease of use and the use of centralized crypto wallets. Cashaa says their solutions to these issues are the use of a system that internally handles all the trades through the API data coming from selected traders they have verified. They also maintained that their wallets are controlled by users as they don’t have access to the keys.

According to the draft ban bill, the use cryptocurrency of as legal tender or currency in India will be punished. So is its “mining, buying, holding, selling, dealing in, issuance, disposal or use…” To this end, ban or no ban, Cashaa plans to be flexible and capable of adjusting to any changes and find needed solution along the way.

In a related development, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has added support for Nigerian naira opening gateway access to bank account holders in Africa’s largest economy through a partnership with Flutterwave, a payments partner for businesses that operate globally. The NGN trading pairs added to the Stablecoin Market (USDⓈ) as of October 24 include BUSD/NGN, BNB/NGN, and BTC/NGN.

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