CrossTower, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, opened an official branch in India on Monday, amid regulatory wranglings in the industry. CrossTower had already hired 35 people for the office and planned to hire another 100 in the next six months.
“India will play a critical role, and we intend to use the country as a hub to expand into other geographies,” CrossTower co-founder and CEO Kapil Rathi told Reuters in an interview. He also stated that the company intends to increase its market share by increasing technological resources in order to meet the high demand in the Indian crypto market.
According to Chianalysis, the country’s virtual currency market has risen from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in May 2021, as India remains ranked 11th in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. “We believe we are taking a calculated risk,” Rathi said of opening a crypto exchange branch in a country with unresolved issues surrounding regulatory affairs pertaining to the cryptocurrency industry.
Regulatory Upheaval in the Crypto Industry
The Indian government planned to present a bill to the parliament in March that would outright ban cryptocurrencies, making trading and holding them illegal in the country. However, it was not on the table for discussion, and the uncertainty remains, despite the fact that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) attempted to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in December. However, there have been no significant updates as of press time.
Early this year, the crypto exchange announced that it had reached its highest-ever trading volume of $150 million in February. Since October 2020, trading volumes have increased significantly. Furthermore, in February, CrossTower launched a new Bitcoin Fund that provides accredited investors with exposure to Bitcoin via standard privately placed security.