Binance, one of the world’s largest exchange, announced on Thursday (November 20) that it had acquired WazirX, – a decision aimed at establishing a strong presence in India as well as fostering crypto adoption in the country not-so-welcoming to cryptocurrencies.
The deal will allow Indian traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using Indian Rupees as from November 25 after integration with the Binance Fiat Gateway.
Binance Acquires India’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange
According to The Economic Times India, Binance acquired WazirX – the largest peer-to-peer crypto exchange in India – for an amount ranging somewhere between $5 million and $10 million, to build fiat-to-crypto bridges for the more than 1 billion residents in India. Through this integration, traders will be able to buy tether ( UDST) directly from Binance exchange using Indian Rupee, which they can subsequently use to trade any cryptocurrency on the WazirX exchange.
Speaking about this new acquisition, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the firm’s main goal is to foster crypto adoption by “adding more fiat currencies to Binance and work with local partners to add as many fiat-to-crypto pairs as possible”.
Notably, Binance has been on a spree to increase fiat-to-crypto operations in as many countries as possible. Over the last couple of months, Binance has already launched the fiat-to-crypto service in countries like Singapore, Jersey, United States, and Uganda.
On his account, CEO of WazirX Nischal Shetty opined that the next phase of mainstream crypto adoption will start in developing countries like India and this Binance partnership will not be confined to the Indian crypto circle but will also help other developing countries that require fiat on-ramps.
As aforementioned, Indian authorities are quite hostile towards cryptocurrencies. India has followed the lead of other countries like China and Indonesia that have imposed harsh restrictions surrounding cryptocurrency trading.
Case in point, in April 2018, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India ordered all banks and other financial institutions to stop any operations with people dealing in cryptocurrencies. Now in July this year, an inter-ministerial committee formed by the Indian government proposed banning of cryptocurrencies, including jail terms and hefty fines for anyone caught selling, buying or mining virtual currency.
However, none of this has happened yet, and Binance’s acquisition of WazirX could be a harbinger of more good things to come for crypto enthusiasts in India.