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Brain Drain: Indian Crypto and Web3 Companies Migrate to Dubai

2 mins
Updated by Nicole Buckler
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Brain drain has started in India. As regulations change in the country, many Web3 entrepreneurs and businesses formerly based in the country are now taking flight. Dubai has been picking up the talent, as well as other places such as Singapore.

Representatives of the cryptocurrency industry in India are leaving in search of friendlier jurisdictions.

The top management of cryptocurrency companies in India are fleeing the country due to the repressive attitude of local regulators towards the market. This is according to The Indian Express, which interviewed local industry representatives.

What Happened?

According to BackstageWithMillionaires, there is plenty of uncertainty in India’s crypto market, after a crypto ban in 2018.

“Even after that ban was overturned, Indian crypto was in a gray zone. Its future was uncertain. That wasn’t the case though in Dubai. They were showcasing innovation and openness in the crypto space. Indian entrepreneurs started to wonder if the opportunity for crypto entrepreneurs based in Dubai was larger than the opportunity in India.

“Some people were on the fence. They were holding out hope that India’s upcoming crypto bill would pave the way for India to become a serious player in the global virtual asset market. Then in February of 2022, the government of India announced this a 30% tax that would be applied to the sale of virtual assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of the UAE had officially approved the Dubai virtual asset Regulation Law with the goal of establishing the UAE as a key player in designing the future of virtual assets globally. Indian crypto entrepreneurs started packing their bags.”

brain drain India has hit the number one spot when it comes to Play-to-Earn (P2E).

Brain Drain Examples

Co-founders of Indian crypto exchange WazirX (bought by Binance in November 2019) Nishal Shetty and Siddharth Menon have reportedly moved to Dubai with their families. Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal also headed for Dubai. Crypto companies ZebPay and Vauld moved to Singapore.

One of the leaders of a major Indian crypto exchange, on condition of anonymity, told the publication that many of the industry are leaving India in search of jurisdictions “with clearer policies.”

In an exit cascade, companies such as ByBit, Crypto.com, FTX and Binance crypto exchanges also expressed intentions to move to the country.

British and American lawyers and former regulators said in a comment to the Financial Times that a crypto business license issued in the UAE is likely to have little effect on the position of Western regulators demanding more oversight of the cryptocurrency business.

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Nicole Buckler
Nicole Buckler has been working as an editor and journalist for over 25 years, writing from Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, London, and Dublin. She now writes from the Gold Coast in Australia. Nicole first bought Bitcoin in 2013 not really understanding what she was doing. She is an accidental HoDLer. Got a story on the culture side of crypto? Email [email protected]
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