The Centre’s announcement last week, that it would shortly introduce a Bill in Parliament to regulate cryptocurrencies — which could possibly include a ban on some of them — has done little to dampen the sector in India.
Singapore-based crypto exchange Coinstore has gone ahead with the launch of India operations. CoinDCX, which holds the title of being India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn, is getting set to launch an initial public offering (IPO) to tap investor interest in the segment, said a Bloomberg report.
Apart from helping people buy and sell crypto tokens, CoinDCX offers other crypto-based financial products. In August, it raised a $90 million Series C private equity funding round from B Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital and other investors. The fundraise valued the start-up at $1.1 billion, moving it to the elite unicorn club.
Coinbase Global blueprint
Neeraj Khandelwal, co-founder of CoinDCX, expects to replicate the success of US-based crypto firm Coinbase Global, which launched a maiden offer in April 2021. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, was also in the news in India earlier this month when it acquired Agara, an artificial intelligence-powered support platform.
There are concerns over the future regulatory regime over cryptos, particularly due to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) oft-stated reservations on the digital assets. Khandelwal feels an IPO and subsequent market listing would lend legitimacy to the nascent sector.
Bloomberg said CoinDCX’s IPO plan and timeline would hinge on how the regulations take shape. Till date, there have been several flipflops, not unlike in the rest of the world. The RBI banned all crypto transactions in 2018, only to have the decision struck down by the Supreme Court in 2020.
Over the past couple of years, cryptocurrencies have gained considerable traction in India, and also been mainstreaming themselves. They have stepped up their social media engagements and gone for heavy advertising on television.
At the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup, Indian crypto exchanges spent over ₹50 crore altogether on commercials, said an Economic Times report. Per match, CoinDCX alone advertised seven times on every TV channel during the tournament.