What led to the creation of WazirX platform?
I’ve been a believer in blockchain for many years, but it was in 2017 that I went down the blockchain rabbit hole. It’s when centralised social networks like Twitter and Instagram started cutting off API access that I got serious about Crypto. I realised that you cannot depend on centralised companies because they can change the rules of the game anytime they want.
The global decentralised ecosystem is very nascent right now but I’m determined to contribute towards its growth so that someday decentralisation becomes a way of life on the internet. In 2017, I also tried using Indian cryptocurrency exchanges, and was disappointed with the UX and lack of transparency.
Having built Crowdfire, a social media management product with 20 Million users, we understood what it takes to build and scale a global tech product out of India. We love challenges, and decided to build WazirX – a cryptocurrency exchange.
In which markets are you present and what are your expansion plans?
WazirX is a global exchange based out of India. Our crypto-to-crypto market is available for anyone around the world.
Post the lifting of the ban by RBI; what has been the responses?
Cryptocurrency startups have been gaining positive traction since the SC verdict; as it has opened doors for massive crypto adoption in India.
The lifting of the RBI ban on cryptocurrency trading in India has fuelled new energy in the market and has opened opportunities for the entire country to participate in the Blockchain revolution. At WazirX we have seen a growth in our daily volume by over 270% in the last 30 days.
Will Crypto currency transform banking, what role can WazirX play?
Crypto can play an important role as it can help with financial inclusion for the unbanked. India has been seeing a high internet penetration even in remote areas, and hence, people with mobile phones and internet can easily access crypto. Also until now it was difficult for Indians to easily participate and earn online unless payments are made to their Indian bank accounts.
Crypto can now help find new ways of earning through mobile phones since crypto removes geographic barriers. Indians can work for anyone, anywhere in the world and earn.
Blockchain is evolving fast and increasing rapidly, how is WazirX with Blockchain contributing to India fund?
WazirX has recently been acquired by Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and it’s a big milestone for India’s crypto ecosystem. India is a very important market for us. Recently, WazirX and Binance announced a $50 million ‘Blockchain in India’ fund to invest in Indian projects and startups focusing on solving problems through blockchain technology.
Besides investing, we also look forward to partnering with traditional funds who believe in blockchain, and provide mentorship and support to student organisations and universities who want to set up blockchain technology incubators. We plan to help every entrepreneur trying to solve a problem with blockchain technology.
How does WazirX measure the value of a token?
The primary purpose of WRX is to be used for trading fee discounts within the WazirX ecosystem. Another use case is to use your WRX holdings to determine any future airdrops we might get as part of promotion campaigns from various tokens that we list on WazirX.
While we intend to provide more use cases in the future, I’m of the belief that focusing on a few use cases and going all in on making it super useful is important. This would mean bringing more users into WazirX, opening up P2P in more countries, integrating P2P into the Binance ecosystem etc.
Exchange tokens have proved to be useful tokens in the past. WRX is the best way to get deep discounts on WazirX. India being a large market, there will arise more demand for WRX as more people start using WazirX. We also plan to integrate WazirX P2P into multiple platforms in the future and users of these platforms will need to buy WRX if they have to get trading fee discounts.
Has the COVID crisis affected Crypto Currency? What has been the customer’s response?
In February-March, we also saw crypto prices decline sharply due to the global panic around Coronavirus. But we’re seeing the market become more stable compared to traditional stock markets. Even though crypto is showing signs of stability, and more investors are entering crypto in this financial turmoil right now, it’s still too early to say anything.
Despite the crisis, WazirX sign ups have also been steadily increasing since the banking ban was removed. Moreover, under the nationwide lockdown in India, our signups are growing further by 30%. It’s probably due to the lockdown, people have more time on hand to read about crypto, and it leads them to WazirX to buy crypto for the first time.