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Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive officer of Binance, says he expects Indian regulators to align with crypto innovators in the long run. Entrepreneurs in the space, however, are reportedly feeling a lot more pessimistic about India’s long-term prospects.
According to a report by The Economic Times, change isn’t happening fast enough for founders and promoters of Indian blockchain startups. They’re concerned that the ongoing regulatory battles, crypto bans and the closure of bank accounts for crypto-related businesses are decimating the country’s competitive edge, effectively forcing India to lag technologically, well behind the US and China.
Says Nitin Sharma, founder of Incrypt Blockchain,
“The (Indian) regulatory ecosystem is…not (focusing) on decentralized systems like smart contracts, so innovation will not happen at the same pace as in those countries who do allow for experimentation in such aspects of the technology.”
The government showed signs of loosening its anti-crypto stance in November when it announced plans for a new national framework supporting the development and integration of blockchain technology. However, blockchain can be applied to solve a variety of problems, from streamlining bookkeeping to optimizing registries, supply chain logistics and government procedures – all without touching crypto.
Despite the government’s crackdown on crypto, with a population of 1.3 billion, India is a massive market and a major target for industry leaders who envision how cryptocurrency and blockchain initiatives can address systemic poverty by reaching people who are entirely cut off from the existing banking system because they lack financial services and bank accounts.
The goal is to continue to build solutions and platforms that are accessible and easy to use, and to form key alliances.
Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance established a significant bridge to India in November when it acquired the country’s leading digital asset platform WazirX. Crypto traders in India are now able to buy and sell Bitcoin and other digital assets with fiat currencies through Binance’s fiat-to-crypto portal for the Indian rupee.
“I am very bullish about India. Strong tech talent, large population, just need more favorable crypto regulations.”
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