Top crypto exchanges plan multi-pronged push for regulation


Top Indian crypto exchanges are in the final stages of joining IndiaTech, an industry association representing India‘s consumer internet start-ups, unicorns and investors, to increase pressure on the government to regulate crypto in India, several industry sources said. They said that a multi-pronged approach could help raise awareness and push regulators to quickly establish a framework for crypto.

Crypto exchange ZebPay said it was joining IndiaTech, which represents India’s leading consumer internet startups such as Dream Sports, Ola Electric and Nykaa, besides investors like Steadview Capital and Falcon Edge. A senior official at another crypto exchange, who did not wish to be named, also said they were in the final stages of becoming an IndiaTech member.

Senior executives at many other crypto exchanges said they were considering the proposal to join IndiaTech but added that their work with the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), a part of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), would continue.

“It’s all about trying from different bodies and seeing what works,” said one executive who is considering the proposal to join IndiaTech. “There’s unlikely to be a single regulator anyway, so we’re just trying to do different things to see what works,” he added.

Owing to regulatory uncertainty, crypto exchanges have been on overdrive to make their pitch to the government, banks and regulatory bodies. IndiaTech, which has helped local startups on several issues with regulators and the government, last month published a white paper proposing a comprehensive framework to provide regulatory clarity on crypto assets and exchanges in India.

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The white paper published caught global attention and helped move the narrative on crypto in a positive direction, according to its CEO Rameesh Kailasam.

“The exchanges liked the approach we took to address the issues,” said Kailasam. “Crypto exchanges want to be part of IndaTech because we have moved the needle in the past few months on the narrative and perception of this industry.”

“There has been no significant breakthrough yet,” said a senior executive at a crypto exchange. “Ultimately this effort is going to need a combination of the white paper, the code of conduct and other things.”

All leading crypto exchanges, including WazirX, CoinDCX, ZebPay and CoinSwitch Kuber are currently part of BACC. We
reported on June 3 that these exchanges have partnered with IAMAI to set up an advisory board that will act as a self-regulatory organisation for the sector.

IndiaTech has worked with regulators including Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to institute reforms in differential voting rights (DVR), listing norms, and reduction in promoter lock-in. It also played a crucial role in helping startups list their services on the government’s e-marketplace, which various departments use to buy products and services.

IndiaTech’s core members include Bhavish Aggarwal, cofounder of Ola; Deep Kalra, cofounder of MakeMyTrip; Ravi Mehta, founder of Steadview Capital; and Kavin Bharti Mittal, cofounder of Hike.



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