Global Bitcoin exchange behemoth, Binance, has set up a fiat on-ramp for Indian crypto by acquiring WazirX — a Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange service.
WazirX Now Binance’s Indian Bitcoin Exchange Partner
According to ET, Binance acquired WazirX in a deal worth between $5 million and $10 million. The WazirX acquisition sees the Bitcoin exchange giant establish a significant presence in India.
WazirX will act as Binance’s Indian partner with CEO Nischal Shetty continuing to run the platform in the country. The deal will reportedly see WazirX’s P2P market integrated into the broader Binance Fiat Gateway service before the end of Q1 2020.
According to the terms of the deal, Indian crypto traders will now be able to buy bitcoin straight from the WazirX P2P platform. The move is also part of Binance’s drive to open up crypto trading to more fiat currencies around the world.
Commenting on the move, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao remarked:
India will be one of our first forays into stimulating financial growth and access in developing nations beyond the country. We will be continuing to work towards furthering crypto adoption, lowering the barrier to entry. One of the main goals is to add more fiat currencies to Binance and work with local partners to add as many fiat-to-crypto pairs as possible.
Speaking to Australian crypto news platform Micky, Zhao revealed that Binance is looking to launch a branch in Australia before the end of 2020. If achieved, the move will see Binance’s Australian operations grow from a limited retail service to a full-fledged crypto exchange platform.
Major Exchanges Eyeing Indian Market
Binance’s Indian move represents a growing trend among major Bitcoin exchanges looking to establish a presence in the country. As previously reported by Bitcoinist, major South Korea Bitcoin exchange, Bithumb is also on the hunt for a local Indian exchange partner.
This expansion into India comes even as authorities in the country remain firmly against crypto adoption. Back in April 2018, the RBI — India’s central bank, banned commercial banks from facilitating crypto-related transactions.
Earlier in the year, an inter-ministerial committee also recommended a blanket ban on crypto trading as well as fines and prison sentences for defaulters of the proposed law. Both Zhao and Shetty have also been vocal critics of the efforts by authorities in the country to stifle crypto commerce.
Will India’s government move ahead with plans to ban crypto trading in the country? Let us know in the comments below.