Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, announced in a blog post today their latest news: they acquired a major Indian digital asset platform, WazirX. But it doesn’t stop there. They’ve also announced that starting next Monday, November 25, “people in India can buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies through the Binance Fiat Gateway.”
Wazir is India’s most trust bitcoin exchange, according to Binance. They have a peer-to-peer fiat-to-crypto matching engine, which allowed them to continue operating in India after a ban on in-house crypto-fiat conversion disrupted the crypto industry.
Wazir will continue operating as a separate identity after the acquisition, but their “unique auto-matching engine” will be integrated into Binance’ fiat-to-crypto portal, Fiat Gateway, during the first quarter of 2020.
Since Binance launched Indian Rupees (INR) on their platform recently, they’ve successfully found a way around the banking issue in India. Therefore this integration gives users the possibility of placing orders to purchase Tether (USDT) against INR.
Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), said:
“The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money.”
Wei Zhou, Binance CFO, talked about “building fiat-to-crypto bridges” as one of the main missions for the crypto exchange. He added: “WazirX will help this by providing a simple and cohesive way to purchase cryptocurrencies in a country which is home to more than a billion people.”
Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO, mentioned developing nations’ vital role in “the next phase of mass adoption for crypto.” He said:
“This acquisition by Binance gives us the opportunity to not only cater to India but every developing nation where fiat on-ramps have to be built.”
India experiences a time of regulatory uncertainty
In the summer of 2018, crypto services in India were dealing with the aftermath of the central bank’s (RBI) ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related firms. While some exchanges, such as Coindelta, Joinex and Zebpay were forced to terminate services, WarziX transformed their business model to survive.
However, India’s future remains uncertain. The Indian government is reportedly working on a draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies”, which might impose a complete ban on the use of crypto in the country and create a “Digital Rupee”.
Meanwhile, Binance is working to establish a strong presence in India beyond the crypto trading services. As per the blog post, they’re supporting and developing the Indian blockchain system as a whole.
“The young demographic in India give an edge to adopt and build on new financial technologies, and I believe this will play a vital role in making India a global blockchain innovation center to also spur cryptocurrency adoption throughout the larger public in the country,” added CZ.