Xiaomi India Holding Off on Crypto Offerings With Launch of Lending Platform

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In Brief
  • Despite diversifying into a full-spectrum lending platform, Xiaomi is still holding off on offering cryptocurrencies for now.

  • However, despite their popularity, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, Xiaomi India is still hesitant.

  • Xiaomi’s hesitance to engage with crypto trading in India’s payments and lending markets is understandable, as policy there is unclear.

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Despite diversifying into a full-spectrum lending platform, Xiaomi India is still holding off on offering cryptocurrencies for now.

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The lending business of the Chinese handset manufacturer operating in the sub-continent, which started under its internet services business, will have a clear focus on payment, lending and insurance verticals. The company is now launching it as an independent business due to the market size and renewed focus.

Business increased 95% for Xiaomi’s financial service business during the January-March quarter, compared to the October-December period of 2020. Manu Kumar Jain, managing director of Xiaomi India, lamented the gain was due to a dismal prior performance due to COVID. However, despite this hurdle, Jain highlighted that this month’s figure demonstrates growth at a “significant pace.”

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No crypto for now

However, despite their popularity, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, Jain, managing director of Xiaomi India is still hesitant. “Of course, crypto is an area, which is extremely interesting, and is the biggest buzzword and is doing exceptionally well,” he said. ”But, we would want to understand more on the regulation side.”

Regarding startup investments, Jain acknowledged new regulations that require certain approvals to make an investment. He stressed the need to be 100% compliant with all local laws at every level.” As a consequence, Jain concluded there were no immediate plans for any crypto investments.

Crypto in India

Xiaomi’s hesitance to engage with crypto trading in India’s payments and lending markets is understandable. Currently, the status of cryptocurrencies is unclear from an official policy perspective. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India banned financial institutions from engaging with cryptocurrency-related businesses. This prohibition was overturned by India’s Supreme Court in the spring of last year. However, policymakers have drafted legislation banning private coins, while some consider whether they should do so with all cryptocurrencies. 

Amid this indecision, the crypto market in the South Asian subcontinent continues to flourish. Although there are no official figures, industry sources estimate there are 15 million crypto investors in India. These 15 million hold an amount worth over 100 billion rupees ($1.37 billion). Meanwhile, the four biggest crypto exchanges in India saw daily trading volumes jump from $28.6 million a year ago to $159 million, according to CoinGecko.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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