A news report suggesting that India’s hostile policy towards the digital asset sector is leading to an exodus of crypto-entrepreneurs from the country has said that Nischal Shetty and Siddharth Menon, both co-founders of WazirX, have left India along with their families for Dubai. Shetty and Menon are CEO and COO at WazirX, respectively.
The Binance-operated company, the largest Indian crypto exchange by volume, is among the many local trading venues that had seen a sharp fall in transactions since April 1, when the new crypto taxations rules became effective.
Although there is no official confirmation or denial of these rumors, WazirX has addressed the media query in this regard with a statement that says the company is a remote-first and its executives can work from anywhere, the news report said.
“We are a remote-first organisation with employees from over 70+ locations. This gives all the company employees the option to work from anywhere, subject to their comfort and convenience unless they are required to travel officially. WazirX is headquartered in Mumbai and Bengaluru, and there is no change in any of our operating procedures. It is business as usual,” Business Today quotes from the statement in its report.
Dubai is rapidly emerging as a new crypto hub and may become an important destination for Binance, which owns WazirX. Against this backdrop, the shifting of the base by key WazirX executives to Dubai hints that they might be roped in for larger roles at Binance.
Exchanges Hit By Sharp Fall in Volume
CryptoPotato reported earlier that Indian crypto exchanges hit a six-month low on April 10, with volumes going down by 92 to 98%.
“Trading volumes on top crypto exchanges (normalized for the last one year) slid 92-98% on April 10 at one point compared to peaks observed last year, data from cryptocurrency aggregator Coingecko.com showed.”
To add to the problem, at least four payment aggregators including MobiKwik have stopped providing services to crypto exchanges beginning April 1. This is in addition to the denial of instant electronic retail payments and settlement services by entities like Unified Payments Exchange (UPI).
The hefty crypto taxation and denial of retail payments services by banks have led to a near-collapse of trading volume at digital asset exchanges, including WazirX.
Dubai Emerging as New Crypto Hub
Dubai on March 9 introduced a new Virtual Assets Law and created an independent Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority to provide a clear regulatory environment for the crypto industry.
Binance has already received a license to run a digital asset exchange in the city. FTX is planning to set up its regional headquarters there as well. Bybit has said it received an in-principle approval while CryptoCom is planning recruitments for its UAE foray.
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