Crypto Exchange OKX Plans to Expand into India despite Murky Regulatory Environment

Crypto Exchange OKX Plans to Expand into India despite Murky Regulatory Environment

Global cryptocurrency exchange OKX has announced that it will be expanding to India despite the murky regulatory environment in the country. In an interview with CoinDesk, the platform’s Chief Marketing Officer Haider Rafique revealed that OKX was looking to scale up its wallet services by tapping into the rich local developer community.

“We’re going to learn about the community. We’re going to work with local folks. Figure out where we can add value,” Rafique stated.

OKX, a top ten crypto exchange, has about 200,000 wallet users in India, about 5% of the country’s web3 users. The company does not have a global headquarters but has regional hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and the Bahamas.

The crypto community in India is fraught with regulatory uncertainty, existing in a grey area where digital currency is not banned but not legal either. While there have not been any proposals for crypto and Web3 legislation in the nation’s parliament, India implemented a controversial 30% tax on all crypto gains along with anti-money laundering rules. The nation’s central bank remains opposed to legalizing crypto and continues to explore a digital rupee through a pilot program launched in December 2022.

The hostile regulatory environment has made it hard for global exchanges to penetrate the Indian market. Top exchange Coinbase had its trading services halted just three after it began operations in the country. In addition, local politicians have urged the Web3 industry to separate itself from cryptocurrency.

“You have to kind of separate Web3 from CeFi [centralized finance] and I think regulators are starting to do that too,” Rafique said. “They’re more concerned about venues that have fiat on-ramps, which we do but we don’t offer it in India. Once India comes up with a regulatory framework for crypto then we would like to be the front runners.”

Rafique also revealed that OKX does not plan to open an office in the country as that is not a prerequisite for offering Web3 services but added the exchange is intent on hiring a local team.

“We’re trying to identify who’s who in the zoo and what is their contribution. There’s a large developer community. How do we help them, build a relationship with them,” he said. “How do we first let them know what we’re about. And then work with these communities to figure out what is the right way in. Is it for us to sponsor Web3 conferences or developer conferences or host an OKX Blockchain Week? This is what we are exploring.”

The exchange recently partnered with blockchain platform Neo to bring its APAC Hackathon to the southern city of Bengaluru in an effort to understand the local culture and support the Web3 ecosystem.


Crypto Exchange OKX Plans to Expand into India despite Murky Regulatory Environment

Source link