WazirX to soon launch decentralised exchange for buyers, sellers to connect directly: Nischal Shetty

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July 28, 2021 8:58 PM

On Wednesday, the #IndiaWantsCrypto Twitter campaign started by Shetty completed 1,000 days. The campaign was launched on November 1, 2018, after the Reserve Bank of India had banned Indian banks from doing business with crypto exchanges.

The Binance-owned startup WazirX had launched South Asia’s first non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in May this year.

Cryptocurrency trading platform WazirX will soon launch its own decentralised exchange for customers who want to keep custody of their cryptocurrencies, founder Nischal Shetty told Financial Express Online. Decentralised exchanges are essentially peer-to-peer marketplaces for crypto buyers and sellers to connect directly without a centralised exchange acting as a middleman. Users or traders don’t have to entrust exchanges for their funds.  

“WazirX at the moment is a centralized exchange and there are a lot of our customers who don’t want to have a centralized exchange. So for them, we are building a decentralized exchange. We do not have an ETA yet, it’s in the final stages. We are testing out a few things around security. So once that is done, we will make an announcement,” said Shetty. 

The Binance-owned startup WazirX had launched South Asia’s first non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in May this year with creators hailing from multiple categories including digital artists, muralist photographers, canvas artists, space 3D artists, street artists, and visual artists to sell their work. Each NFT is unique and cannot be traded unlike cryptocurrencies, which are identical to each other, and can enable commercial transactions.

For instance, one Bitcoin is equal to another Bitcoin or Re 1 is equal to another Re 1 but NFTs cannot be a medium of transactions because of their uniqueness. However, they are being used to represent real-life assets such as artwork. “NFT platform is doing well and we intend to develop more on NFT platform and bring more features,” added Shetty.

Also read: Tesla Q2 earnings: Elon Musk’s EV company books $23M in Bitcoin impairment; holds BTC worth $1.3 billion

On Wednesday, the #IndiaWantsCrypto Twitter campaign started by Shetty completed 1,000 days. The campaign was launched on November 1, 2018, after the Reserve Bank of India had banned Indian banks from doing business with crypto exchanges. It was aimed at spreading the right information about crypto. Shetty said that when the campaign was started, the crypto industry was of about 3-5 million people in India which has grown to about 15-20 million today — 3-4X growth. Moreover, the general public today, he added, understands that crypto is a new technology and not an alien term compared to 2-2.5 years back. 

The Enforcement Directorate in June had issued a show-cause notice to WazirX and its directors Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre. The notice was issued against an alleged violation of FEMA laws involving crypto transactions worth Rs 2,790 crore. “We have cooperated with the agency in the investigation so far and are preparing a response to the detailed notice we have received on FEMA violations. It will take some time. Once we do it then we will have to wait and watch,” said Shetty. WazirX is currently at 7.3 million users and expects to cross 10 million users in around six months.

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