Cryptocurrency: Expect 100 mn Indians to own cryptocurrencies in 2-3 years: Nischal Shetty

MUMBAI: More than 100 million Indians will have ownership or exposure to cryptocurrencies over the next two-three years holding assets worth more than $50 billion, said Nischal Shetty, founder at cryptocurrency exchange WazirX.

Speaking at a CII virtual event earlier today, Shetty said he sees the cryptocurrency universe in India growing exponentially with more than 1,000 startups working on various technological aspects of the blockchain.

India currently has more than 15 million cryptocurrency users in the country holding assets worth more than $6 billion.

The Indian government is currently in the works to introduce a bill in the Parliament that will prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange but may allow it to be used as an asset for investment purposes.

Bloomberg News earlier today reported that the government will rope in the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India to regulate crypto assets. The government is also expected to amend the Income Tax Act to include the word crypto asset for taxation purposes.

Shetty argued that none of the existing regulators are in place to regulate a complex industry like cryptocurrency but he believes that any regulator tasked with the regulation will be able to build in expertise steadily.

“Eventually any regulator that comes in will be able to regulate [the industry],” he said. Shetty also argued that the cryptocurrency industry will also be the fastest to reach 100 per cent clean energy in a rebuke to claims that the industry is one of the biggest guzzlers of fossil fuels in the world.