CoinSwitch Kuber is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. And the cryptocurrency market in India continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Bitcoinworld.co.in caught up with CoinSwitch Kuber’s Chief Business Officer Sharan Nair who believes that there is a fair possibility that the youth of the nation can help the sub-continent become a major global crypto hub.
How do you assess the growth of the cryptocurrency market in India?
Someone I know always used to say that Indians arrive late to parties, but once they do, there is no stopping them. India will undoubtedly become one of the largest players in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. With every passing day, we see more acceptance for cryptocurrencies in our society. In 2014, when I would tell people about Bitcoin, they had zero interest in it, and almost no one had heard of it. Today, many people, including few cab drivers, have told me that they have at least heard the word Bitcoin.
I believe this nation’s youth will play a crucial role in leading us to the path of becoming a major global crypto hub. India will not only become a huge investment market; it will also become a hub for innovations in cryptocurrencies. That is why one of our primary goals at CoinSwitch Kuber is to empower the youth with relevant knowledge about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. We have partnered with various institutions, including IIT Bombay, to conduct a workshop in their Techfest, the largest tech fest in Asia.
What were the early challenges that coinswitch kuber faced?
Fortunately, we did not have many challenges. In fact, our pre-launch was super successful. We had opened up our pre-launch offer of Zero fees for the first 25,000 users, but we ended up getting over 100,000+ users even before our app went live. Considering the kind of traction we saw, we decided to extend the offer to all our users. One reason for this overwhelming response was that we had built an app keeping the retail investors in mind. Very early on, as a team, we realized that for mass adoption to happen, it should be easy for anyone of any age and any background to invest in cryptocurrencies. I like to believe that we have done a good job considering that we have seen a steady increase in users from smaller towns in India.
We did face one small challenge because few people thought we were a new cryptocurrency business and had trust issues. They did not know that we have been globally in the crypto business since 2017 and are funded by prestigious VCs like Sequoia Capital. In fact, we still run one of the largest and most successful non-custodial exchanges globally, and most sizeable global crypto companies including Coinpayments, Exodus wallet, Trezor wallet, and over 200+ other global crypto businesses use our APIs in one way or the other.
Apart from the king crypto – Bitcoin – which are other cryptocurrencies that Indian investors take interest in.
A lot of Indians buy Ethereum, XRP, and Tron apart from Bitcoin. A good number of people also flirt with coins that bring in wild volatility. Flirt as in; they park a small amount to see if they can make a quick profit. Many are still experimenting with a wide variety of coins, hoping that they would soon find the next Bitcoin. I am happy that many of us have now stopped investing in currencies that are an outright scam.
Do you think Bitcoin can surpass the $25k mark in near future?
As someone who is a part of running an exchange, I stay away from questions and discussions around price predictions. However, to add my two cents, crypto prices mostly move on the backdrop of new developments whether it is technological development (for example launching of ETH 2.0), developments in adoption (for example: Paypal offering crypto and Microstrategy buying Bitcoin), developments in regulation (example: Banks in the US can now offer crypto custody), etc. As long as we have fresh developments coming in and investor confidence building up, Bitcoin price should cross all targets.
In countries like the US, China, and South Korea – Cryptocurrency is already in an established position. Do you think that status can be matched in India?
I do not doubt that we will be attaining that status in India too. It is just a matter of time. To be honest, regulating cryptocurrencies in India is a real challenge. Even if you put the best crypto minds from India to this task, even they will struggle let alone regulators who understand crypto at just the surface level. I am very hopeful and believe that we are set on the right path. If there is one thing I have learned about this industry, being in it for the last six years, is that there is just one way in the crypto world, and that way is the way forward.