Cryptocurrency firms gear up for new products after RBI ban removal

Cryptocurrency companies such as Bank of Hodlers and WazirX have started working on new offerings following a Supreme Court order that overturned a Reserve Bank of India notification restricting banking access for virtual currency trading.

Darshan Bathija, cofounder of Bengaluru-based Bank of Hodlers, said the company was building multiple offerings for consumers.

“To start with, we are integrating with RazorPay and Cashfree this week, which will be our payment gateway. After that, we will start focusing and enabling peer-to-peer transactions,” he said.

The company will also enable UPI transactions for cryptocurrency in the next few months, Bathija added.

“With the banking ban lifted, we can now innovate around these offerings and also work with banks who were ready to integrate with our products two years back,” he said.

The virtual currency industry had come to a standstill following RBI’s April 2018 circular that had prohibited the use of banking channels for cryptocurrency transactions.

A number of startups are working on various innovative products, said Akshay Aggarwal, CEO of Blocumen Studios, an enabler of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

“One is working on a wallet-based system which will enable users to transact on crypto in e-commerce sites. Another one is looking at enabling people to use the idle processing power of their mobile phones in exchange for earning crypto,” he said.

Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange WazirX is also talking to fintech players to see how the wallet can be integrated with other platforms to drive transactions.

It has now enabled users to deposit and withdraw in fiat currency to buy or sell crypto through the platform.

“Crypto cannot work in isolation. After the removal of the ban, we can now work with KYC-related startups. Overall, this will enable crypto startups to work with all fintech-based firms,” said Nischal Shetty, co-founder of WazirX.

However, a few have raised concerns about driving mass transactions through crypto.

“The cost of transacting in crypto is still quite high — at around 5-7% — which is bound to slow the volumes till costs come down,” says Nakul Saxena, an investor in the space.

If a consumer can transact on UPI at no additional cost, users will have to see some benefit before they starts transacting cryptos, he added.

The total number of verified virtual currency users stands at 1.7 million, according to internet lobby group IAMAI. The global market size is pegged at $430 billion, with India constituting about 2-10% of the overall market.

Source: Economic Times

Read the similar article on Business Standards India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *