What's Developing In The Indian Crypto Ecosystem [An Overview]
The Global Recession of 2008 sent unprecedented shockwaves and disrupted Financial Markets worldwide. With Banks of International repute going insolvent to Financial Institutions turning towards the governments for bailouts and mergers, many woke up to the fact and sought alternate ways of financial transactions which would be least affected by sudden unprecedented fluctuations and Market Corrections.
In comes Bitcoin in the year 2009. Bitcoin is a consensus-based network that enables a new payment system and completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. This further paved the way for the development of other Blockchain Protocols and Crypto Currencies aimed at Mass adoption and shortening of the transaction times, to make it more appealing to users looking for swift transaction settlements.
The world, in general, has had a strange relationship with Crypto Currencies from outright bans to heavy taxations and fines for using these cryptocurrencies, and India has been no exception to this. In March 2020, after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn RBI’s stifling ban on banks from facilitating banking services to crypto exchanges, India-based Crypto Startups got a new lifeline and direction for their resurgence.
Despite cryptocurrency market losing more than $50 billion worldwide over fears of recession due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Blockchain companies continue to be bullish on India, boosted by the apex court’s verdict to strike down the central bank’s April 2018 circular that disallowed banks and regulated entities from facilitating trade in cryptocurrencies. Since then, companies including ZPX, Incrypt Blockchain, and Unocoin are busy chalking up plans to revive and expand their business in the coming months in India. While the total number of verified virtual currency users stands at 1.7 million in India, according to IAMAI, the global market size is pegged at $430 billion!
Factors such as government policies, ease of daily usage, and transaction settlement times are paramount when considering the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies in Indian Domain.
The Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem is still under development and is gradually evolving in terms of exchanges, media, and news coverage dedicated to this space.
Here are a few prominent Crypto exchanges, Crypto Aggregators, Trading Platforms making waves in India, with whom we got in touch:
WazirX has been at the forefront of the Indian Crypto Exchange Space for quite a while. WazirX made quite a splash when it was acquired by the World’s Leading Exchange – Binance, in November last year. Apart from being one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Wazirx also provides spot trading, including C2C and spot markets.
Founded in 2014 by Nischal Shetty, Sameer Mhatre, and Siddharth Menon, Wazirx is based out of Mumbai.
Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX:
Challenges – One of the major challenges we have faced as a crypto startup is the misinformation and myths around crypto in India. Crypto is a nascent technology, but there was also a negative perception around it due to the RBI banking ban in India.
Future Roadmap – Due to the banking ban, Indians had to use P2P which was successful for WazirX but banking channels will be even more successful as it’s more convenient for use. I think in the next 2 to 3 years crypto will go mainstream in India. We hope to see much more innovation in the Indian crypto ecosystem such that it solves India specific problems.
CoinSwitch is one of India’s cryptocurrency exchange aggregators, built to assist customers trading in cryptocurrencies in the most simplified manner. CoinSwitch developed CRUXPay which is an open-source protocol for blockchain naming service and payments. CoinSwitch is backed by Sequoia and has recently launched its flagship product named CoinSwitch Kuber, a crypto trading platform.
Founded in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar Tiwari, CoinSwitch is based out of Singapore and Bengaluru. Sharan Nair, Chief Business Officer at CoinSwitch:
Sharan Nair, Chief Business Officer of CoinSwitch:
Challenges – Lack of clarity around crypto regulation has poised as the biggest challenge for us in the Indian ecosystem.
Future Roadmap – We are certain that the potential for growth is humungous in India and all of our efforts in India will be driven towards building products that makes the onboarding of Indian users into crypto super easy.
Giottus is one of the prominent Multi-Coin Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India. Its user-friendly interface makes it possible for anyone to register and start using Cryptocurrencies with ease. Apart from this, Giottus offers Advanced Trading features, many Crypto-Crypto trading pairs, and also includes Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin as Base coin pairs.
Founded in 2017 by Vikram Subburaj and Arjun Vijay, Giottus is based out of Chennai.
Arjun Vijay, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Giottus:
Challenges – Uncertainty has the biggest challenge faced by Indian Crypto-startups and users. Clear regulations will go a long way in establishing trust and confidence.
Future Roadmap – We believe Crypto will power the next version of the Internet and Giottus should play a big role in powering the ecosystem by providing a reliable platform for all Crypto-related needs.
Cashaa is a neo-bank registered in the UK which caters to crypto assets as well among its offerings. Cashaa aims at providing affordable financial products for mass consumer adoption of Blockchain without the need for customers to understand the technical details of Blockchain technology. Cashaa’s wallet system, integrated with the peer to peer exchange enables its users to save, spend, borrow, and get insured, in a legally compliant way.
Founded in 2016 by Kumar Gaurav and Janina Lowisz, Cashaa is Headquartered in London with an office in Mumbai and other cities across the world as well.
Unocoin is one of India’s Leading Cryptoassets & Blockchain companies. Unocoin offers features such as the Bitcoin Systematic Buying Plan (SBP), Bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App, and Bitcoin Over-The-Counter trading (OTC) for its customers. Besides above, Unocoin also has a feature for Nominees in case of the sudden demise of its customers holding crypto assets on their platform. Recently, in a bid to broaden its user base, Unocoin has partnered with US-based Bitwage and Canada-based Paycase as well.
Founded by Abhinand Kaseti, Harish B V, Sathvik Vishwanath, and Sunny Ray in December 2013, Unocoin is based out of Tumkur and Bengaluru.
Harish BV, Co-Founder of UnoCoin:
Challenges – Regulators’ view regarding crypto businesses in India, Even after Winning the case against RBI in Supreme court still most bank’s views are that RBI is prohibited crypto businesses for having bank accounts for crypto related transactions.
Future Roadmap – As now Supreme court quashes the RBI circular April 2018 prohibition on crypto business. Now it’s an opportunity for 1.3 billion Indians to enter into crypto space and also a lot of new startups can build a stronger product for India and Global.We launched a new product lending on Bitcoins , Anyone in emergency can get money for their immediate requirement without selling their bitcoin holdings.
Coin DCX is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India which has been in the news recently after its Series A raise. For its customers, CoinDCX provides spot trading, futures, and margin trading and recently launched DCXfutures which Indians will be able to trade crypto derivatives.
CoinDCX raised $2.5 million in May 2020, from the blockchain-focused Polychain Capital, and Coinbase Ventures. This investment comes shortly after the exchange’s Series A funding round in March, in which CoinDCX secured $3 million from Bain Capital, Polychain, and HDR Group, the operator of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX.
Founded in April 2018 by Neeraj Khandelwal, Sumit Gupta, CoinDCX is based out of Mumbai.
Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinDCX:
Challenges – The road to mainstream adoption for cryptocurrencies has been a long journey fraught with numerous obstacles, but we are on the right track and are already starting to see the dawn of a new era for the cryptocurrency industry in India. The Supreme Court ruling in March gained cryptocurrencies a new layer of credibility in India, and an increasing number of Indians are starting to recognize it as a legitimate asset class.
Future Roadmap – CoinDCX and the Indian cryptocurrency industry are committed to working with the government as well as fostering open dialogue to develop smart and sensible regulations defining the legitimate use and classification of cryptocurrencies.
In the next 5,10 years, the crypto industry will be one of the dominant industries in the startups space. As a company, we are focusing on bringing 50 million Indians to crypto with #TryCrypto initiative.
CoinRecycler offers a non-custodial exchange service that enables users to instantly convert their altcoins to bitcoin and make seamless payments over the Lightning Network without creating accounts.
Founded by Mohammed Roshan in 2019, Coin Recycler is registered in Singapore and operates out of Bengaluru.
Mohammed Roshan, Co-Founder of Coin Recycler:
Challenges – Until March this year, regulations were a challenge. We were figuring out where to register our company before zeroing down on Singapore due to uncertain regulations in India.
Now that the RBI crypto ban has been revoked, we have a better insight of regulations and are well staged to serve the Indian and the South East Asian Markets.
The other ongoing challenge for us is the uncertainty of merchants accepting crypto. We are tying up with various merchants in India and providing them viable solutions to safeguard them from price volatility of cryptocurrencies.
Future Roadmap – The Indian crypto ecosystem is growing at great lengths. I believe India to be the Hub for crypto and blockchain projects in the coming years. I’d like to see the ecosystem focus a lot on educating the masses on pros and cons of cryptocurrencies, negate the fake news about cryptos that gets spread, and help users understand cryptos aren’t just for trading but it’s an ecosystem of its own and its various applications.
Our vision is to build a pure home for crypto payments. Creating an instant non-custodial exchange, onboarding users onto the Lightning Network, rewarding users by giving them bitcoin for free just for being good citizens and paying their credit card bills are some of the primary directives we as a company aim to achieve.
CoinRecycler Kiosks will be installed at major retail outlets and airports to easily convert tokens to btc and enable purchase of BTC using a Debit card.
We’ll be providing crypto rewards to users that use our platform to pay their credit card bills. Through this we aim to onboard 47million credit card users in India(as of 2019) and provide them an interface to the world of crypto. This Indian credit card market is poised to grow at 25% during 2020-2025.
Our plan is to eventually evolve CoinRecycler to be a completely decentralized exchange service. We were working on a prototype called “ORION” in 2014 which was to make blockchains interoperable. We’ll be using many current decentralized exchange technologies to complete ORION and make truly decentralized swaps. This will also help merchants to have just a single address through which they can accept any supported altcoins.
Founded in 2016, by Sohail Merchant, PocketBits was one of the first professional crypto-platforms based in Mumbai. PocketBits provides a digital asset trading platform built on ultra-modern services for digital currency traders and global liquidity providers.
Operated by Defacto Technologies, PocketBits facilitates digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers transact with new digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether. One of the key additional features is that a user can appoint a nominee in case of demise or other unforeseen circumstances.
Sohail Merchant, Founder, and CEO of Pocket Bits:
Challenges – The biggest challenge that we have faced is the perception of Individuals towards Crypto Currencies and CryptoCurrency users. The mainstream media does an excellent job of highlighting all the possible negative use cases and not even touching the tip of the iceberg for positives and possibilities. You can fight for regulations, Infrastructure & competition, but it is tough to challenge and change the perception.
Future Roadmap – The Vision is simple; freedom to innovate. There are endless possibilities in this space to improve and scale existing technologies to never before seen heights. I want more stakeholders to support the ecosystem, reach out and mentor newcomers, startups, etc. If the industry grows, everyone benefits.
We, as a company, will be reasonably active in the Indian and Global landscape, quite a few announcements to come in the next six months. Building products that are actually needed and not just because the optics look right. Our focus has always been ease of use for the end-user and exceptional customer service.
Bitbns is one of the few exchanges in India which provides its users the fastest and simplest way to trade cryptocurrencies with one of the best three-way Peer-to-Peer systems for purchasing cryptocurrency with FIAT in India. Bitbns users have options for spot trading, including C2C and spot markets.
Founded in Dec 2017 by Gaurav Dahake and Prashant Singh, Bitbns is based out of Bengaluru.
Gaurav Dahake, CEO of Bitbns:
Challenges – Apart from the regulatory challenge, perception among the mainstream has been a major challenge. It has improved after the supreme court decision but still needs a lot of positive press and word of mouth to go further from here.
Future Roadmap – We want to change how crypto payments are done and make them easier, faster and better than current fiat alternatives with bns token. We think there’s exciting innovation that’s happening in the Indian crypto ecosystem and we expect pace to increase rapidly.
ZebPay exchange was founded in Oct 2014 by Mahin Gupta, Sandeep Goenka, Saurabh Agrawal but in Sep 2018, Zebpay announced the closure of its operations in India, blaming the government’s stifling cryptocurrency regulations.
Zebpay is one of the fastest-growing and most popular exchanges in the Crypto Domain and is currently headquartered in Victoria, Australia. They have been rapidly expanding across different regions, attracting both crypto-traders and crypto-focused investors from across the globe. In March 2020, ZebPay reopened in India. It provides spot trading, including the C2C market (INR＆AUD) and spot market.
BuyUcoin is a digital asset exchange where traders and consumers transact with multiple digital currencies. Its blockchain Wallet service supports digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, NEO, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash.
Founded in 2016 by Shivam Thakral, Devesh Aggrawal, and Atulya Bhatt, BuyUcoin is based out of Delhi.
Samaksh Wangnoo, Blockchain Analyst of BuyUcoin:
Challenges – Although the industry has received a huge relief in recent times, as a collective sector crypto is yet to receive correction from a public perspective.
Future Roadmap – Indian economy can be an emerging leader for blockchain and crypto-related innovations and BuyUcoin as a responsible member of the ecosystem will continue to lead in the ever-changing environment.
Colodax is one of premier India based blockchain platforms, providing lightning-fast trade execution, dependable digital wallets, and industry-leading security practices. Colodax facilitates Buying, Selling and Trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other top cryptocurrencies at nominal fees.
Founded in 2017 by the team of CrypDates led by Nitesh Agarwal, Colodax is based out of Mumbai.
Nitesh Agarwal, Co-Founder and CTO of Colodax:
Challenges – Biggest challenge in India is adoption. Many traders/investors still don’t know about bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Future Roadmap – Our vision is to create financial freedom and educate millions of Indians about cryptocurrencies. To bring cryptocurrency trading mainstream like stocks/equities.
Coinbreze, one of India’s premier exchanges, offers its users a one-stop platform to buy, sell, and trade bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple(XRP) and other top volume cryptocurrencies using local FIAT currencies. With the integration of the payment system, it’s easy to deposit and withdraw FIAT on the Coinbreze Platform.
Founded in 2019, Coinbreze is currently registered in Estonia.
Vivek Sahay, Chief Marketing Officer of Coinbreze:
Challenges – Low advertising options, Expensive marketing services, Excessive reliability on PR and low Indian audience reading them
Future Roadmap – Educate Indians about Blockchain and use cases of top cryptocurrencies. Being the leader in Indian Crypto Space providing high security and insurance to users fund
Bank of Hodlers
Bank of Hodlers is an asset-backed lending and borrowing platform and currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, TrueUSD, and DAI. Bank of Hodlers aims to provide its users with a customer-centric banking solution leveraging blockchain by facilitating cryptocurrencies as a separate asset class.
Founded in 2018 by Darshan Bathija, Sanju Sony Kurian, Bank of Hodlers is based out of Bengaluru.
Koinfox operates as a global B2B and B2C cryptocurrency trading platform for professional traders, powered by its own consensus algorithm (POR: Proof of Reputation) and executed from the native wallet. It enables crypto investors to be able to invest and reap benefits of the crypto asset volatility with various technology-enabled intelligent tools allowing them to diversify their risks and reap the rewards.
Founded in 2018 by Anshul Dhir and Opinder Preet Singh, Koinfox is based out of Franklin, Canberra and Gurgaon.
Delta is probably the only other Indian cryptocurrency derivatives exchange apart from CoinDCX, that offers its users futures on prominent Crypto Assets like Bitcoin and other leading altcoins and that too with up to 100x leverage!
With features like advanced order types and lightning-fast APIs, Delta users get access to an institutional-grade trading platform built for the digital asset markets.
Founded in 2018 by Pankaj Balani, Saurabh Goyal, Jitender Tokas; Delta is registered in Kingstown, St Vincent, and its day to day operations are carried out in Singapore and Mumbai.
Neeraj Thakur, Head of Marketing of Delta:
Challenges – Since Delta Exchange only deals in Bitcoin deposits and doesn’t have any fiat on-ramps as of now, the only challenge we faced was during the negative sentiment created by RBI (Reserve Bank of India) when they imposed a banking ban on Crypto businesses in India. But after the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the crypto companies, we saw a significant shift towards positive sentiment and surge in the user growth from India.
Future Roadmap – We truly believe that India will emerge as a strong contender in the Crypto ecosystem as we’ve one of the largest technical talent pools which is curious to adopt and innovate in the emerging technology space like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, etc.
In addition to having the largest number of Altcoin Derivatives pairs, Delta Exchange is well positioned to cater to a global audience of traders with innovative product offerings such as Interest Rate Swaps, MOVE Options, Interest Bearing Accounts and Altcoin Options soon on the cards. We foresee Options in Crypto being the next big frontier.
Bitxoxo is one of the few firms we came across where users can buy, sell & even gift Bitcoins in the form of prepaid gift cards. As per the company, it doesn’t charge any fee for these services. Bitxoxo also allows payments and withdrawals through IMPS.
Founded in 2016 by Hesham Rehman and Mohammad Rezwan in 2016, Bitxoxo is based out of Hanamkonda and Warangal.
WandX is a multi-blockchain DEX platform with a unique risk-hedging product for its users that allows bulk token trading. At present, WandX multi-blockchain DEX with its proprietary basket protocol enables users to transact a collection of tokens as “token baskets” in a single transaction. WandX currently supports Ethereum (ERC20) and NEO (NEP5) blockchain assets.
Founded in 2017 by Abhinav Ramesh of Chainflux, Wandx is based out of Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Belfrics is a global exchange for cryptocurrency and a crypto trading platform. Belfrics aggregates the feeds of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges for effective trading executions. Solutions that Belfrics offers its users are buying and selling Bitcoins, Points-of-scales (POS) solutions, Bitcoin web payment gateway, and mobile credit cards.
Founded in 2014 by Praveen Kumar and Maya Kumar, Belfrics is currently based out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Praveen Kumar, Founder and CEO of Belfrics:
Challenges – The primary challenge that we faced was banking. With the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, we expect this situation to change soon.
Future Roadmap – We are awaiting further clarifications from the regulators before we initiate the exchange activities again in India. We are operating exchanges in 7 countries as of now and expect to expand this to 10 by 2021.
Bitpolo is a new crypto exchange on the block. It offers trading in INR against a number of cryptocurrencies, such as BTC and ETH.
Based out of Bengaluru, Bitpolo recently commenced its operations in the month of May 2020.
A cryptocurrency exchange, Flitpay offers its users to buy or sell bitcoin and altcoins on its platform with relative ease.
Founded in 2017 by Ashish Sangai and Akash Bansal, Flitpay is based out of Jaipur.
Akash Bansal, Founder and CEO of Flitpay:
Challenges – We are in the Crypto world for a considerable time now and in the past few years, the major challenge we have faced is banking and people awareness. But, it is also true that with the support of the government and educating common people about the potential of crypto positively helping us overcome these challenges.
Future Roadmap – India has the power to become the biggest crypto market in the world and we are confident enough to make the one in the coming years. Flitpay is working round-the-clock to provide the best platform with power-packed features where users can come not only to buy/sell crypto but also to gain knowledge, to educate themselves about inculcating the need of crypto in our lives.
Flitpay is aiming to bring the latest technology and features which are not yet available in Indian Crypto Market. Our mission is to make crypto a usual part of everyone’s life rather than just using it to buy/sell to earn profits.
Moving forward from exchanges, our next segment features Infrastructure Platforms firms which have gained substantial clout within the Blockchain Space.
Matic Network is one of India’s first blockchain scalability platforms focussed on decentralization and designing blockchain products. Matic leverages a combination of blockchain scaling, developer platform, and tools to accelerate application development based on the decentralized ecosystems without the hassles of expensive and complex transactions involved.
Founded in 2017 by Jayanti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, and Anurag Arjun, Matic is based out of Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Marlin Protocol is an open infrastructure platform for decentralized networks, powered by a bandwidth sharing marketplace. With Marlin Protocol, users will be able to experience fast, trustless, and secure decentralized web 3.0 by reimagining the networking architecture underneath blockchains.
Founded in 2018 by Siddhartha Dutta and Prateesh Goyal, Marlin Protocol is registered in Singapore.
Siddhartha Dutta, Founder and CEO of Marlin:
Challenges – A vibrant ecosystem plays a vital role in tech. Exchange of ideas enables rapid iteration, promotes research and consequently attracts smarter talent into the space. While boosting the hiring and funding environment, it also allows experimentation in usage of the technology to solve uniquely local problems.
Future Roadmap – We are happy to contribute towards the development of the tech community in India via study groups and tech meetups leveraging our access to leading developers and projects in the Valley, Berlin and China to augment the heavy focus on trading that we observe right now.
Some of the exciting Fintech products in the Blockchain Space are:
Frontier Wallet offers its customers DeFi positions across various protocols with the highest security standards. It tracks multiple portfolios, allows users to earn interest on their decentralized assets in a noncustodial manner.
Founded in 2019 by Palash Jain and Ravindra Kumar, Frontier Wallet is registered in Bengaluru.
Dhawal Shah, Board Advisor of Frontier Wallet:
Challenges – Indian crypto ventures face their biggest challenge as regulatory uncertainty, not sure of what rules would apply. Despite the Supreme Court ruling in favour of blockchain startups, there is still a long way to go in terms of coming up with facilitative regulation.
Having said that 1.3 billion people is a very large audience, almost one sixth of the world.
And this is a very large segment that cannot be ignored. Indians are accepting crypto as a regular form of investment. This is seen from the amount of traction we see that crypto has been gaining in recent times, as many as six Indian crypto ventures have been funded this year alone. DeFi will be a major turning point in India, as a large portion of Indians do not have access to banking services.
Future Roadmap – At Frontier, we are integrating a fiat on ramp that will allow Indians to buy crypto directly from their bank account and store it in a complete non custodial way. Frontier enables access to a whole lot of DeFi services such as lending, borrowing, staking and has several investment tools, helping them enhance their financial freedom.
Nuo is one of the latest decentralized and transparent crypto banking platforms intended for emerging markets such as India. It intends to be a single financial control center wherein users can store, spend, and grow any cryptocurrency of their choice. Using Nuo app, users can store all their cryptocurrencies at one place, and carry out transactions like paying for their coffee at Starbucks with a Nuo Card or making near-instant peer to peer transfers over the Nuo.Network. It also enables users to avail global financial products and services at one place via Nuo Play.
Founded in 2019 by Varun Deshpande and Ratnesh Ray, Nuo Network Team is based out of Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Siddharth, Co-Founder of Nuo Network:
Challenges: The regulations have painted crypto in a very negative light in India. This has prevented any easy platform to onramp into crypto for the mainstream audience as well. And since the retail investors haven’t picked this up yet, innovation in this space has been fairly limited as compared to other newer industries.
Vision: India needs to take center stage when it comes to investing into crypto. The potential for crypto products is immense. We have seen a glimpse of it with our DeFi product – nuo.network. We now solve the first level of the problem – bringing investing into crypto mainstream in India. Once that is done, the innovations in this space can lead to unimaginable solutions to problems ranging from socioeconomic to sophisticated finance issues.
InstaDApp provides its users with Smart Wallets to Decentralised Finance where they can borrow, lend, leverage, swap Crypto Assets in a very simplified manner. It aggregates major protocols using a smart wallet layer and bridge contracts.
Founded in 2018, by Samyak Jain and Sowmay Jain, Instadapp is based out of Hyderabad.
OroPocket, formerly known as Ethx, is a universal investment platform on blockchain where users can buy, sell, and transact digital assets instantly.
Founded in 2017 by Mohit Madan of the Ethx team, Oropocket is based out of Delhi.
Mudrex is like a hedge fund platform but for cryptocurrencies. Experienced traders build trading algorithms using Mudrex tools. Mudrex builds portfolio bundles using top-performing algorithms as per different risk-reward profiles for its users. Mudrex then automatically buys and sells different cryptocurrencies on behalf of them.
Founded in 2018 by Alankar Saxena, Edul Patel, Prince Arora, Rohit Goyal and Snehil Buxy; Mudrex is based out of San Francisco and Bengaluru.
Rohit Goyal, Co-Founder and CEO of Mudrex:
Challenges – Since we were a global product from day 1 we didn’t face India specific issues from a business perspective. However we would have focused more on India if regulatory clarity were there for everyday investors in crypto. So till now we were not able to provide a lot of value proposition to Indian users since they were not able to get into the crypto currency market.
Future Roadmap – Now post honorable Supreme court’s verdict on RBI’s barring on serving on cryptocurrency companies we have seen big enthusiasm among Indian users. We are building major partnerships with other Indian crypto currency companies to best serve Indian users. Our mission is to bring access to risk optimised high yield investments to every Indian. India has an opportunity to play a major role in one of the biggest financial revolutions. Adopting cryptocurrencies in the right way would boost employment and overall economy and would help India become one of the major financial power.
Finets is a blockchain-based social network in which groups of individuals come together to raise funds based on Finets Social Quotient Trust tool. With Finets users can form self-funding circles with each member acting as both a contributor and beneficiary as well on this platform.
Finets is a product of Aicumen Technologies team based out of New Jersey and Bengaluru.
Transak facilitates its customers to buy and sell crypto assets with a simple bank transfer. The Transak assists users with their non-custodial SDK for crypto-to-fiat on/off ramps, for buying or selling tokens directly to their users’ wallets. Transak’s banking transaction data layer settles the transaction without taking custody of the user’s data or funds.
Founded in 2019 by Yeshu Agarwal and Sami Start, Transak is registered in New York and its operations are based out of London and Bengaluru.
Yeshu Agarwal, Co-Founder of Transak:
Challenges – The most difficult thing about this business is the expertise, technology, and processes required to deal with compliance, banking, and liquidity in all the different regions. Each region has a different license that is required or a compliance process. The payment methods in some regions are instant, some not. There are also great risks in handling money. If it goes wrong then it can cost the company thousands of dollars or more at a time. When we started fiat on-ramp service in India, we started with the P2P method. And that method was very time consuming and was not good for the end-user experience.
Future Roadmap – We think in a few years, many companies will be starting using the cryptocurrencies in the backend to automate their processes like paying to vendors, etc. And this will help crypto to become mainstream. In Transak, we are providing a crypto payment gateway, where the non-crypto companies can accept fiat money from the end-users and can automate their backend processes using crypto. We are also working on the recurring deposit and withdrawal and also adding coverage for the USA, South-East Asia, Canada, South America, Africa, China, and Japan via bank transfer.
Incento is a cross border remittance app based on blockchain which users can request payments from friends and businesses by just sharing a link via email or any messaging app. It is yet to be released.
Founded in January 2020 by Chetan Badhe and Krish Tripathi, Incento is based out of Bengaluru.
Some of the Blockchain products and services based out of India are as follows:
Springworks is a recruiting application built on the blockchain. With smart contracts, Springrole is able to verify work experience and reputation, give real meaning to endorsements, reward endorsers, and get users endorsements outside of their network.
Founded in 2014 by Karthik Mandaville, Springrole offices are based out of California and Bengaluru.
Biconomy provides a relayer infrastructure network and transaction platform which enables users to build applications easily on the blockchain. Biconomy provides a platform that utilizes meta transactions to allow end-users that are unfamiliar with crypto to seamlessly use dApps without having them learn about wallets, crypto, and paying transaction fees.
Founded in 2019 by Ahmed Al-Balaghi, Sachin Tomar, and Aniket Jindal, Biconomy is based out of New Delhi and Dubai.
Aniket Jindal, Co-Founder of Biconomy:
Challenges – Clarity regarding regulation is one of the major roadblocks for any blockchain startup in India due to which it takes longer to make decisions for many institutions and enterprises.
Future Roadmap – We are a dev focused company so Indian ecosystem matches perfectly with our vision. We want to be the de facto middleware platform for the devs building on web3. There’s already a lot of developer activity happening on our platform post our beta launch.
Devfolio team hosts some of India’s largest community hackathon in the Blockchain space like – InOut, wmn; – India’s largest women-only hackathon and ETHIndia – India’s largest Ethereum hackathon. At Devfolio, companies connect with talent through hackathons all over the world.
Founded in 2017 by Shakti Goap, Nash Vail, and Utkarsh Verma, Devfolio is based out of Bengaluru.
Covalent provides infrastructure layers to assist in building blockchain-based products. Their solutions bridge centralized databases with distributed blockchain technologies.
Founded in 2017 by Ganesh Swami and Levi Aul, Covalent is based out of Vancouver.
MoiBit is a personal decentralized secure storage network based on the Blockchain system. MoiBit offers its customers a guarantee of read (GoR) and a non-coin-based hybrid deployment model that ensures the availability of private clusters. The enterprises can use on-premise and private clouds to co-exist with the decentralized nodes.
Moibit is another featured product of Aicumen Technologies team besides Finets, and is based out of New Jersey and Bengaluru.
Zebi is a full-stack core-blockchain company providing infrastructure and products to its clients. Zebi has a public blockchain (Zebi Mainnet) for a multi-chain and multi-token design platform built on Cosmos.
Founded in 2015 by Sudheer Kuppam and Pruthvi Rao, Zebi is based out of California and Hyderabad.
Diro is a Blockchain-based decentralized e-KYC Platform. Diro helps businesses & regulators correctly identify legal & verified identities in a far safer & better manner than dealing with images & photocopies of identity documents. Diro states that their platform has very strong anti-fraud & anti-impersonation procedures built-into it to prevent fraud or stolen or fake identities.
Founded in 2019 by Arjun Singh, Nikhil Rai, Sumeet Singh, Vishal Gupta, Diro labs have offices in Noida and New York.
Cypherock offers a hardware wallet named X1 for cryptocurrencies, with a distributed architecture for advanced backup and recovery. Cypherock offers a unique feature of an offline generation of private keys which are then broken into 4 unique secrets, each of which is encrypted and stored on the EAL 6+ secure elements on their cyCard.
Founded in 2018 by Rohan Agarwal and Vipul Saini, Cypherock is based out of Delhi.
Rohan Agarwal, Co-Founder of Cypherock:
Challenges – Talking about Blockchain and Crypto from the ideology standpoint I believe has been one of the biggest challenges in India. And because India still has comparatively low financial literacy per capita, talking about Crypto as a concept still raises eyebrows. But I personally believe with the recent legitimization of the industry through the Supreme Court decision, things are bound to change in the near term.
Future Roadmap – India was always behind in terms of innovation in the Dot com boom. But the country lacked the infrastructure at the time to build the industry. With the Web 3.0 Zeitgeist, Indians now have the opportunity to build the industry alongside the West. Hence, I believe India will have multiple giant companies creating value not only for India but for the whole World.
We at Cypherock believe for the mass adoption of Crypto & Blockchain, we need to bring the same level of peace of mind in securing Crypto assets that the World today has with traditional finance. That’s what has been our mission from the day we started and we ought to play our part to rebuild the global financial infrastructure on the Internet.
Newfang offers its users a Decentralized Cloud Storage Platform for Web 3.0 Applications, on the EOS Blockchain. With Newfang, apps offer their users privacy and ownership of their data, leveraging edge computing to serve content faster and remaining resilient to attacks/data breaches/censorship without a central point of failure, through a decentralized network of storage nodes.
Founded in 2019 by Mayur Relekar and Aravindh Kumar, Newfang is based out of Bengaluru.
BlockVigil assists developers in building and scaling blockchain apps with just a few lines of code. With the use of webhooks, WebSockets and Zapier, BlockVigil users can execute powerful off-chain and real-world workflows.
Founded in 2018 by Swaroop Hegde and Anomit Ghosh, Blockvigil has its offices in San Francisco and Bengaluru.
It goes without citing that the Blockchain Ecosystem in India would be incomplete without the Print and News Media coverage and Crypto Influencers who’ve been actively involved in different aspects of Blockchain development in these last couple of years. A few distinguished among them focused in the Blockchain domain are:
Coin Crunch is one of the few print media outlets dedicated to sharing news regarding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain ecosystem in India and abroad. They provide the latest updates in the Crypto Space and review different Crypto Product Offerings catering to Global users in general and Indian audiences in particular.
Founded in 2018 by Naimish Sanghvi, Coin Crunch is based out of Vadodara.
Naimish Sanghvi, Founder and CEO of Coin Crunch:
Challenges – India is still one of the countries where the ideology of the politicians and businessmen have been “Blockchain great, Crypto bad”. Penetration of this into the corporate actually discourages any innovation in public blockchains and also fails to encourage startups to work on them. We have seen this happen ample times. The government and corporate bodies need to embrace public blockchains before they are too late and form better regulations for crypto assets.
Future Roadmap – Most of the crypto startups are registered outside of India and run a development center in India, thereby truly taking away the potential of emerging technologies out of India. I do personally believe that the government has softened its stance and will open up to crypto regulations in the near future.
Mr Crypto India
Mr. Crypto is a Blockchain news outlet that aims to educate people, unfold awareness regarding Cryptocurrencies, and Blockchain Technology. Furthermore, they publish insights on various use-cases, research, analysis of new projects, and latest developments in the Crypto Domain.
Founded in 2017 by Anand Agarwal and Tusshar Aggarwal, Mr. Crypto India is based out of Bengaluru.
KoinPost is a Crypto media outlet covering a wide range of news on digital assets, blockchain technology, ICOs, IEOs, STOs, and other emerging fintech trends.
Founded in 2018 by Bimal Gupta, Koin Post is based out of Delhi.
Crypto Dost Media started off as a YouTube channel with a vision to bring quality content concerning cryptocurrency and blockchain technology from India and across the globe. Crypto Dost currently has also expanded into the Print Media space as well to cater to the growing demand for quality content of Crypto-related developments.
Founded in 2017, Crypto Dost is based out of Pune.
Blockmanity is one of India’s growing online Blockchain publications. News related to Blockchain technology, regulations and the cryptocurrency markets are actively covered on the platform.
Founded in 2018 by Ishan Garg, Shrikar Parashar, and Abhishek Ajit, BlockManity is based out of Bengaluru.
Bitcoin Expert India
BEI is a platform for Crypto Education and Analysis. Their Youtube channel and website explore the world of Cryptocurrencies, discuss its popularity and traction in India.
Founded in 2015 by Pankaj Tanwar, Bitcoin Expert India is based out of New Delhi.
Founded in 2017, Crypto India stands out as one of the first Youtube Channels of nearly 50K subscribers which offer Crypto related news and info sessions in the Hindi Language. Right from the basics of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, they have covered different segments in the Crypto domain.
Crypto Point Hindi
Started in 2018 by Sandeep, Crypto News Point is a Hindi based Youtube Channel informing viewers on news related to Cryptocurrencies, info sessions, podcasts, and latest happenings in the Crypto domain within India and abroad. This channel regularly posts videos and has amassed a huge following of more than 20K subscribers on its channel as of June 2020.
Amanpreet Singh a.k.a. Indian Cryptonator is another famous Crypto-related Youtube channel in the Hindi Language and is focussed more on crypto trading and sharing insights with regards to the price fluctuations, day trading, and swing trading associated with Crypto Currencies.
Inblox Events, a part of Inblox Network Group, conducts info-sessions with co-founders and influential people who are shaping up the Blockchain Ecosystem around the world as we know it.
Founded in 2018 with Abhimanyu Kashyap at its helm and Shantanu Sharma as the host, Delhi-based Inblox conducts meetups, workshops, interviews every month across India in which the people get to participate and interact with latest developments in the Blockchain Space.
Founded in 2019 by Anupam Varshney, Delhi based Octaloop is an Inbound Marketing firm catering to Blockchain and SAAS companies. They conduct online Blockchain sessions, latest being – “The Road to Metamorphosis” held in May 2020. Various Startups from India and abroad come together to share valuable insights and discuss future roadmaps for the Blockchain domain.
Anupam Varshney, Founder, and CEO of Octaloop:
Challenges – As a company that has clients in blockchain and crypto space, so far we have not faced any challenges from the Indian government or banks. We continue to run our operations and pay taxes as per the government compliances. The crypto ecosystem in India has only been expanding interns of a number of startups in the space, and trading volume on Localbitcoins, even after the RBI ban on crypto trading in 2018. However, after the Supreme Court’s judgment, we expect this momentum to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years.
In case the government decides to challenge the judgment or puts a blanket ban once again, we will see more companies incorporating outside India and people are already getting used to working remotely. This might slow the process but can’t stop it. We’ve seen time and again in various industries, the more the government tries to ban certain sectors or ideologies for that matter, the more innovative people get in finding alternate solutions.
Future Roadmap – As for our immediate future plans, we’re working on our next virtual summit – The Road to Metamorphosis II, which is scheduled for the 1st of August along with a week-long Hackathon. We continue to onboard clients that need inbound marketing support in the blockchain niche. We are also working on a product that is in stealth mode for now. Expect its launch very soon. Overall, we’re very optimistic about the way this industry is shaping up in India and abroad. We will eventually see crypto mass adoption in India in the next decade. Good things take their own sweet time.
International Blockchain Congress (IBC), founded in 2014 by Raghu Mohan and Kaavya Prasad, Hyderabad-based IBC Media hosts conferences in association with the Telangana State Government (T- Accelerator Program) and Goa State Government of India, NITI Aayog and Nucleus Vision (an IOT firm).
Their conferences feature leading influencers of the Blockchain industry at a global level, regulatory authorities from emerging markets, and startups from around the world. Furthermore, they have partnered up with Bulgaria-based AE Ventures under the Starfleet India campaign to invest in and accelerate promising Blockchain startups in India.
Raghu Mohan, Founder and CEO of IBC Media:
Challenges – We strongly believe in India’s potential to be a blockchain hub. Unfortunately, we started our core operations around the time of the RBI banking ban. Several projects and companies with the intention of entering India were deterred by our country’s public stand against crypto. This resulted in a lot of business lost for us. Thankfully, there are several who shared our belief for India and executed several projects with us, giving us respite until the recent supreme court judgement.
The lack of crypto regulations is another problem – most business transactions in this space happen in crypto, and reporting that as revenue and paying taxes against it will always be a problem for crypto facing companies in India.
Lastly, the perception of crypto companies in India is still tainted because of all the bad press. Companies that can benefit from blockchain and crypto are apprehensive of adopting the technology and working with players in the industry. Thankfully that is changing now with programs like T-Block and Microsoft Century.
Future Roadmap – My vision for crypto in India is not very different to everyone else in the space – we need to see the tech and crypto for what it is. It is a great tool for innovation which is pervasive in all aspects of our lives – entrepreneurs, developers and early adopters should be celebrated and encouraged and not persecuted. Any forward thinking country will be wise to adopt this technology so as to not be left behind.
Digital Notice Media Labs is a Blockchain Media Agency which offers different services such as PR, advertisements, marketing, media coverage, for blockchain technology-related platforms.
Digital Notice partners with different Blockchain and Crypto Events in India and abroad. Founded in 2017 by Mohammed Shoaib and Sheikh Razaul Islam, Digital Notice is based out of Guwahati.
Apart from aforementioned media outlets and influencers, there are a few of distinguished media platforms that are active in covering the stories of rising startups in India and publish articles related to Crypto Space from time to time:
Inc42 is one of the leading Indian media platforms, which broadly covers the Indian startup ecosystem. They publish news related to developments in the tech space, connect with the co-founders, and organize events related to different Industrial verticals like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Data Analytics from time to time.
Founded in 2014 by Pooja Sareen, Vaibhav Vardhan, and Utkarsh Agarwal, Inc42 is based out of New Delhi.
YourStory is one of India’s most prominent media platforms for startups, broadly covering and promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India. Right from publishing stories to Business Networking events and conferences across India, YourStory has been connecting like-minded people across the entrepreneurial spectrum, sharing their journeys on its platform.
Founded in 2008 by Shradha Sharma, YourStory is based out of Bengaluru.
Our Special thanks to:
With India’s initial wave of Crypto startup rush in 2017, issues such as Money Laundering and improper KYC norms came on to the surface. In the absence of any regulatory framework, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) outrightly proscribed all financial institutions in their dealings with virtual currencies.
Kashif Raza and Mohammed Danish came along in 2018 to form Crypto Kanoon, in order to present more nuanced views concerning Crypto Currencies usage, development, and regulations within the Indian Context. Crypto Kanoon also regularly features podcasts on Youtube with Co-Founders and different stakeholders in Crypto Domain and provides news feeds regarding the latest updates w.r.t. Crypto Currencies, so that Indian users, as well as Crypto startups, don’t end up at the wrong side of the law.
Bit2Buzz is a brand new dedicated crypto PR and tech media agency from India. It offers extensive PR, branding, and marketing solutions for new as well as existing crypto-blockchain brands. The firm is partnered with some of the top crypto influencers, YouTubers, bloggers, media publications, and other key marketing players to create and enhance the brand awareness of crypto-blockchain companies.
Bit2Buzz went live this year with Tabassum Adur as its founder and Kashif Raza of Crypto Kanoon as its Brand Consultant.
We at Crypto APIs are an infrastructure layer that radically simplifies the development of any Blockchain and Crypto related applications. With our Blockchain APIs, Crypto Market Data APIs, and Trading APIs, the developers save a lot of time and cost from running the Blockchain nodes themselves and build Crypto Wallets, Exchanges and Trading Platforms faster at fraction of the price.
(Disclaimer: The author works at CryptoAPIs)
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