Global bitcoin exchange Binance-owned Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has crossed $200 million in daily trading volume since its launch in March 2018. This is the highest trading volume by any crypto exchange in the Indian market, according to the company, amid the regulatory uncertainty over the use and adoption of cryptos by businesses and individuals in the country. “Daily trading volume shows the scale at which an exchange is operating. More volume leads to more liquidity and more liquidity ensures that traders get the best prices with the minimum spread between buying and selling. WazirX has the highest liquidity and trading volume in the INR market in India,” Nischal Shetty, Founder, WazirX told Financial Express Online.
Part of the Malta-based Binance group, which has users in 180 countries, WazirX claimed $2.3 billion monthly volume and 1.75 million registered users on its platform. As per CoinMarketCap, WazirX was the 27th top crypto exchange globally based on traffic, liquidity, trading volumes, and confidence in the legitimacy of trading volumes. Its 24-hour trading volume stood at $218 million with 137 coins available for trading to customers.
“BTC, WRX, TRX, ETH, MATIC, DOGE, ZIL are some of the top trades tokens in India. Our customers are spread across the country. Metros form a large chunk of the customers but other cities are growing fast. The majority of users are in the range of 22-to-30-year of age,” added Shetty. The startup had last year in March launched a $50 million ‘Blockchain for India’ fund to invest in crypto/blockchain startups in India. According to WazirX, there are more than 7 million people associated with over 7,500 crore crypto assets whose fate hangs in the balance until India regulates the crypto market.
However, in what could be the first move towards regulating cryptos in India, the government had last month made it mandatory for companies dealing with virtual currencies to disclose profit or loss incurred on crypto transactions, the amount of cryptos they hold, and deposits or advances from any person for the purpose of trading or investing in cryptocurrency in their balance sheets. In a notification issued, the Corporate Affairs Ministry had announced the amendments made in schedule III of the Companies Act with effect from April 1, 2021.
Separately, the government had said that crypto gains would be taxable as income while GST will be applicable on services by crypto exchanges. “Irrespective of the nature of business, the total income for taxation shall include all income from whatever source derived…the gains arising from the transfer of cryptocurrencies/assets is liable to tax under a head of income,” Minister of State for Finance Ministry Anurag Singh Thakur had said in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha. “Supply of any service, if not specifically exempted, is taxable under GST and no service related to cryptocurrency exchange has been exempted,” he had said.
WazirX is now aiming to hit $1 billion in trading volume per day in 2021. “We’re working hard on bringing positive crypto regulations in India. Our Finance Minister has stated that India will not be banning crypto. We believe the Indian market is growing rapidly and our government will bring in positive crypto regulations,” said Shetty.
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