When it came to populous countries seeing a rise in crypto adoption, China's ban on crypto transactions pushed neighboring India to the fore. Several Indian crypto exchanges have reported tremendous growth in short periods of time, owing to the relatively low cost of data.
Increasing numbers, increasing rules
WazirX reported that it had over 8.5 million users as of 14 October 2021, highlighting its own growth. Furthermore, the crypto exchange claimed to have seen around $30 billion in trade volumes since the beginning of this year.
In terms of compliance, WazirX stated that users were required to provide their passport, driving license, or the biometric identification known as "Aadhaar." A PAN [Permanent Account Number] Card issued by the government was also required.
Furthermore, a "live selfie" is required during sign-up in order to match the user's face to their documents.
However, these precautions did not mean that the exchange was immune to legal scrutiny. According to the report,
“During the period from April 2021 to September 2021, WazirX has received 377 requests from law enforcement agencies out of which 38 requests are from Foreign Law enforcement agencies for transactional and user information.”
WazirX was quick to confirm that it had responded to and fulfilled all of the requests. In addition, the crypto exchange noted that the 377 requests from law enforcement agencies were all related to criminal acts. "Fraud, kidnapping, and narcotics-related inquiries" were a few examples.
Furthermore, WazirX reported that 14,469 accounts were locked between April and September 2021, with the legal team initiating only 10% of the locks.
Observations from the 'Center'
The Shiba Inu token was recently listed on the Indian exchange ZebPay, indicating that crypto usage is growing in India's tier two and tier three cities. But how are Indian authorities reacting to cryptocurrency?
As previously reported, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was concerned about how Indians would react to digital currency after hearing about the anti-Bitcoin protests in El Salvador. Crypto exchanges and their leaders are attempting to persuade Indian regulators, but the government appears to prefer a cautious approach.
Sitharaman, on the other hand, has stated that a CBDC is a "possibility."