Binance’s acquisition of India’s leading crypto exchange WazirX was indeed a surprise to the entire crypto community in India. Consequently, as soon as the announcement leaked out on November 21 by both platforms Binance as well as WazirX, it was greeted warmly by the crowd, many of whom likely inspired by Binance and its founder CZ.
This being said, the top crypto exchange by trading volume will now serve India which is home to over a billion people.
WazirX crypto exchange by Nischal Shetty has entered the Indian crypto market in 2018 but shortly after it opened the door to crypto trading, the Central Bank of India rolled out “banking ban” for transactions relating to cryptocurrency. This was quite unfortunate news, especially for crypto exchanges in India – while few exchanges moved out to different countries, others failed to sustain the regulatory duress.
Notably, WazirX and other few players discovered “P2P (Peer-to-Peer)” trading avenues to facilitate the Crypto enthusiasts who considered Central Bank's decision as flawed and still wanted to invest/ trade in Cryptocurrency. WazirX is also widely known for “#IndiaWantsCrypto”, a Twitter campaign launched by Nischal Shetty and intended to convince the Government for a Crypto-friendly regulatory framework. However, it's been over a year for the campaign but the voices fell on deaf ears.
Crypto Community Raised Key Questions on Acquisition Deal
While on the one hand, the news of 'acquisition' excited the crypto community in India and on the other hand, crypto experts as well as many inquisitive community members inquired about a few aspects relating to the acquisition. I took it as a responsibility to the community members and gotten the chance to talk to Nischal Shetty. Accordingly, “I am adding the interview conversation between Tabassum (On behalf of Visionary Financial) and Nischal Shetty (on behalf of WazirX or Binance in India).
Visionary Financial - There were reports that WazirX has its presence in Singapore and other countries as well and as Binance acquired WazirX India, does it also mean that it has also acquired each of the companies located in different countries?
Nishcal Shetty - I'm sorry, I cannot comment on deal specifics.
Note by VF – The official didn’t specify the amount and other details of the acquisition; however, it had only mentioned that the transaction was estimated at $5-$10 million.
Visionary Financial - "Buy USDT directly via INR at Binance" - Does it mean that now we can buy USDT directly on Binance by making payment through Wazirx p2p?
Nishcal Shetty - We just released the first phase of this integration where WazirX P2P is provided as an option within the 'Buy Crypto' page of Binance. This is similar to other third-party options available on this page. However, phase -2 of our integration will be where the real magic will happen. Binance users will be able to place buy/sell orders on WazirX P2P right from within the Binance App and website. We're super excited about bringing phase -2 to every Binance user and both the teams at Binance as well as WazirX are working super hard towards it.
Note from VF – Binance showed how the interface might look like once it integrates WazirX P2P to buy USDT via INR but how exactly it works remains unclear. It’s really exciting to wait and watch how Binance and WazirX will make it possible, but as per the quick talk with traders in India, Binance’s hasn’t integrated this option on its platform yet.
Visionary Financial -What is the process Binance adopted to settle such transactions? [ For-Ex - what happens after one goes to Wazirx and makes payment to the seller in India ]
Nishcal Shetty - In phase-1 you will receive the USDT in your WazirX account and then you need to transfer the USDT to your Binance account. In phase-2 we'll make it such that you don't have to spend time transferring between WazirX and Binance as the entire process will be made instant.
Note from VF – This option looks amazing and exciting one for the cryptocurrency enthusiasts in India but the close conversation with a legal expert in the field hints that phase-2 may attract provisions of FEMA Act (if there is no actual movement of USDTs from WazirX Exchange in India to Binance outside India). However, this legal remark is currently not relevant as the specifics of phase-2 integration have not been disclosed by WazirX.
Visionary Financial - Would Binance continue to run Wazirx exchange under Zanmai Labs private limited or some other plans are in place?
Nishcal Shetty - I'm sorry but I don't want to comment on company structuring.
Note from VF – WazirX registered the company as Zanmai Labs Private Limited back in December 2017 with Mumbai as its registrar office city. It is a private company, an Indian Non-Government company that falls under the category of Company limited by Shares. While asked about the company structuring following Binance’s acquisition, the question remained unanswered but as per my earlier conversation with Nishcal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, the team has incorporated its entity outside India. Per my earlier interview with CEOs of other exchanges, they also have registered their company in countries like Estonia, Singapore, Australia, and Malta.
Visionary Financial - What is Nischal's plan now, can we expect to see a new revolutionary project in Indian Crypto industry by you?
Nishcal Shetty - My plan is to grow WazirX even further. Spread P2P across not only India but the world. We want to make Crypto accessible to everyone and Fiat <> Crypto bridges are the biggest barriers today. We're here to solve that for the world and with this partnership with Binance, I'm confident we will.
Image Source - Twitter