Investors Keep Ignoring Indian Crypto Ban Rumors As Tim Draper Backs Unocoin (UPDATED)
Despite rumors about a possible crypto ban in India are still circling in the market, some investors bet with their money that the local crypto industry will grow. (Updated at 11:01 UTC: updates in bold.)
One of the oldest crypto exchanges in India, Unocoin, said that it "is close to finalizing" its Series A funding round, which is now led by venture capitalists from Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures and 2020 Ventures among others. Unocoin aims to raise USD 5m in this round, valuing the 7 years old company at USD 20m.
Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, said that the company experienced a strong growth following the lifting of an industry-wide ban by the Reserve Bank of India in March this year.
"Customer growth rates have surged by more than 10X in the month the supreme court verdict was announced, accompanied by a 5X increase in trading volume in subsequent months," he was quoted as saying in a press release.
With the new funding, the company plans to scale its business further, also expanding into the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector with its own protocols.
Meanwhile, the most recent reports on the possible new crypto ban resurfaced this past September. Back then, Bloomberg claimed that India plans to introduce a new law banning trade in cryptocurrencies and the bill is expected to be discussed shortly by the federal cabinet before it is sent to parliament.
However, both Unocoin and Draper are talking of "massive" potential in India and do not mention the possible new crypto ban.
"We are so thrilled that the stars aligned and we could finally back Unocoin," Draper was quoted as saying. (Adam Draper, the son of Tim Draper, is already among Unocoin investors, as his Boost.vc, participated in an investment round with Digital Currency Group, and India based VC Blume Ventures. Unocoin raised more than USD 3m back then).
Sunny Ray, President of Unocoin, added that "many in India remain underserved by traditional payment systems, increasing bitcoin’s attractiveness as an alternative currency."
"The previous ban lifting in March was a good sign that the country is more open to cryptocurrencies, and the economic benefits it can bring to people in India. It’s hard to speculate what events will unfold from this point onward, but the demand since the ban was lifted has been indicative of the industry’s potential and we will continue dialogue with the government to encourage adoption and achieve this potential," Vishwanath told Cryptonews.com.
Besides the exchange, Unocoin is also offering services such as the Bitcoin Systematic Buying Plan (SBP), Crypto lending, Crypto interest earning, Bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App and Bitcoin Over-The- Counter trading.
The company claims that "at its peak" it had more than 1.3m customers.
"We have traded close to USD 1m per day on our brokerage and exchange portal since a month and it is growing steadily," the CEO told Cryptonews.com.
Learn more: OKEx CEO Says Indian Crypto Ban 'Unlikely', Has 3 Scenarios in Mind