India has had a complicated relationship with crypto. While the nation holds a large number of crypto enthusiasts, many exchanges are concerned over the future of the industry.
According to sources available to Cointelegraph, the Indian exchange Unocoin is planning to launch derivatives options on its platform within a few months. However, with the future of crypto in the country still uncertain, Unocoin co-founder Sathvik Vishwanath commented that the restrictions currently in place were making matters difficult:
“...while we believe it is pretty much the time to launch a derivatives market, the restrictions from Reserve Bank of India on banks is making the on-ramp and off-ramp complicated and is keeping the average customer away.”
Vishwanath isn’t the only one to see such potential. Before founding the Delta Exchange, CEO Pankaj Balani was trading derivatives for the Union Bank of Switzerland. This week the exchange allowed its users to leverage their bets on crypto, most notably for Ether and Bitcoin. Balani explained the change as moving into a huge untapped market:
“We see derivatives are one of the areas that is really under-penetrated in crypto. If you look at daily FX trading... derivatives are four to five times the size of spot markets, but in crypto this isn’t true yet.”
Delta could be one of the exchanges to benefit most from a positive outcome in crypto regulations. With over 25,000 registered users, the company has shifted its focus in the hopes Indian traders will embrace crypto derivatives.
India’s gradual acceptance of crypto?
Despite this push from Indian exchanges, the nation has stymied many efforts to expand the industry locally. Developing a digital rupee is still on hold and the future of crypto has yet to be determined. Evan Luthra, an entrepreneur and blockchain expert, spoke to Cointelegraph last year regarding this inconsistency:
“The problem with India and cryptocurrencies is that India is a billion people. It’s a lot of different states that are working with blockchain and cryptocurrency. There are different levels and there is the state government which is also responsible for setting out how the currencies are regulated and how cryptocurrencies are regulated in India.”
However, India has found other ways to make up for their seeming lack of support for crypto. On Jan. 26, Prime Minister Modi gave the developer of a cryptocurrency price tracking application the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020, an award for notable contributions from youth. More notably, India’s Supreme Court just struck down a crypto ban enforced by the Reserve Bank of India.