WazirX is arguably India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Started in 2018 by Nischal Shetty, Sameer Mhatre, and Siddharth Menon, the company has grown massively in the last three years. This year, WazirX’s registered users hit a whopping 6.5 million, while the platform’s trading volumes for the month of June touched $6.2 billion. According to Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, business in the first half of 2021 has grown more than 12 times, signalling a general acceptance of cryptocurrency in India. However, the legality of cryptocurrency trading in India is in question as the government and India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), have made contradictory statements.
In 2018, the RBI issued a directive banning cryptocurrency dealing, but the same was overturned by the Supreme Court. Since then, the RBI has not made any ‘formal’ directives to financial institutes about the way forward when dealing with cryptocurrencies, although investors can still trade in it.
According to Shetty, cryptocurrency is an innovation, and just like the Internet, during its initial years, was left largely unregulated, that is the similar fate cryptocurrency has found itself in right now. “Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is something that never existed before. It is an innovation, and for any innovation to gain legal acceptance, takes time,” he tells Fortune India and Editorji. “But not gaining legal acceptance doesn’t mean it's illegal. I would say, it is unregulated, and regulation will come in eventually,” he adds.