CrossTower Crypto Exchange Opens in India Despite Uncertainty Within Industry

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In Brief
  • Despite uncertainty, the global crypto exchange opens a branch in India.

  • The Indian government recently said they’re considering crypto as a commodity.

  • Although crypto in general is uncertain, the government plans its own CBDC in the near future.

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Global crypto exchange CrossTower tests the waters in the Indian market despite the country’s uncertain stance on crypto. 

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The crypto exchange CrossTower recently set up a local branch in India. The company has its headquarters in the U.S., however it is testing the waters in the Indian market. This comes at a time when India’s policies on crypto remain unclear. 

Already, the exchange hired 35 people in India with plans for a staff of at  least 100 in the coming months. Despite India’s rocky relationship with crypto, other major exchanges entered the Indian market early on, such as Binance in 2019.

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Kapil Rathi, co-found and CEO of CrossTower told Reuters India will play a huge role in the future success of the exchange. “India will play a pivotal role and we plan to use the country as a hub to expand into other geographies. We believe we are taking a calculated risk,” Rathi said. 

While there aren’t many regulations on crypto in India at the moment, this could change in the near future. Nonetheless, exchanges consider the country for expansion. Recently, Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX became the country’s first unicorn with a valuation over $1 billion. 

CrossTower plans its expansion through competitive pricing and “relying on advanced technology infrastructure” according to Rathi. 

India’s uncertain relationship with crypto 

Earlier in the year, the Indian government had plans for a bill which banned cryptocurrencies and made holding and trading illegal. However, it never came to fruition. The Indian government made additional claims over the summer which continue the uncertainty around the space. 

One of which is the potential 18% tax on foreign crypto exchanges with operations in the country. This is in an effort to level the playing field for Indian investors. In addition, news broke yesterday of the Indian government considering a classification of crypto as a commodity. Potentially, such a classification would solve some issues the government has with the market. They will also implement new KYC procedures and accounting standards.

On top of all this, the Indian government plans for the launch of their own CBDC trials this December. The digital rupee has been in the works for a while and the initial launch will focus on wholesale and retail. 

The future of crypto in India is still uncertain, however the country shows a lot of support among investors. 

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Savannah Fortis is a multimedia journalist covering stories at the intersection culture, international relations, and technology. Through her travels she was introduced to the crypto-community back in 2017 and has been interacting with the space since.

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