Blockcast: Good morning folks. I am Melody, Managing Editor of Blockcast.cc. We have been monitoring the crypto market in India for quite some time. On our end at Blockcast, we are also working with a few Indian communities and projects. Today, we have two experts in this interview. The first expert is Nischal Shetty. He is the Founder and CEO of WazirX Exchange and Crowdfire. He is also a Forbes 30 under 30. Then we have Anndy Lian, an intergovernmental blockchain advisor and Chairman of DECENT Foundation. Anndy today will help to facilitate this interview.
Good morning guys.
Nischal: Good morning Melody and Anndy.
Anndy: Good day Nischal and Melody.
Blockcast: Hi Nischal, can you tell us more about yourself before we go into the more serious blockchain and crypto topics?
Nischal: I’m the Founder, CEO at WazirX. It is India’s largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchange with more than 400,000 registered users with an average app rating of 4.6. We have recently gone global.
I’ve also founded Crowdfire, a social media management tool with 20 Million users
after an all-night coding session. I’m India’s top Blockchain influencer on Twitter with over 60K followers. I’ve also been featured in Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list. I’m on a mission to involve everyone in the blockchain revolution.
Blockcast: Tell us more about WazirX India. What is your unique selling point and what do you stand for?
Nischal: We started WazirX with the aim to involve Indians into the blockchain revolution. WazirX is India’s largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchange with more than 400,000 users with an average rating of 4.6. Few key points:
● Our mobile apps are the highest rated
● Within 20 months of building WazirX, we became the first Indian exchange to be
acquired by the world’s biggest one
● Instant INR deposits and withdrawals available 24×7
● Smart Token Fund (STF) – helps non-traders participate in crypto. STF helps you
choose smart traders who will manage your crypto investments for you. This feature
has shown good initial response from users.
● Highly liquid spot exchange with the lowest fee in India
● Prior startup experience of the WazirX founding team, the fact that I’m the top crypto
influencer in India
Anndy: Hi Nischal, can you share with us about your partnership with Binance and our friend CZ? I see that Binance has placed a lot of efforts in different countries and India is one of the main highlights in my own opinion.
Nischal: WazirX has become the first-ever Indian exchange to be acquired by the world’s biggest one, and it’s a big deal. This is a historic moment and a beacon of hope for the entire Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem. Everyone in India feels more confident about crypto now due to WazirX’s acquisition. WazirX continues to run as an independent brand of Binance. I continue to run and grow WazirX with my team. We’ll continue to innovate and bring in more improvements in WazirX. My plan is to grow WazirX even further and make crypto accessible to everyone in India.
Anndy: Your mission for WazirX in India is indeed future thinking and daring. My involvement with several government bodies have also given me some insights in India too. We know that India has opened up a fair bit for cryptocurrency. Your government is actively building regulations around this. Can you give us a brief update on the situation? How friendly is the banking system actually?
Nischal: Thanks Anndy, this is a good question. Cryptocurrency trading was never illegal in India. However, recently the Supreme Court struck down the Indian central bank’s banking ban on crypto. The verdict is historic and positive for the ecosystem. Crypto exchanges including WazirX have enabled banking channels for INR deposit
and withdrawals. With banking channels now open, it has made it easier for Indians to enter crypto. Due to the banking ban, Indians had to use P2P which was successful for WazirX but banking channels will be even more successful as it’s more convenient for users.
Anndy: Blockchain technology has been mature in India, do you invest in blockchain projects and which project in India do you see has the biggest potential to be the next unicorn?
Nischal: We need more startups that focus on India related problems and solve them through Blockchain and Crypto. Recently, WazirX and Binance announced a $50 Million USD ‘Blockchain in India’ fund to invest in Indian projects and startups focusing on solving problems through blockchain technology. Besides investing, we also look forward to partnering with traditional funds who believe in blockchain, and provide mentorship and support to student organisations and universities who want to set up blockchain technology incubators. We plan to help every entrepreneur trying to solve a problem with blockchain technology.
Anndy: I always see that blockchain and cryptocurrency have an interlinked relationship. But many said that cryptocurrency will grow but not blockchain. I don’t agree on this statement, what about you?
Nischal: I agree with you. Blockchain and Cryptocurrency are two sides of the same coin. It’s like the Internet (Blockchain) and Crypto (website). Usefulness to the public is derived only when both exist. When crypto grows, blockchain grows too, vice versa.
Anndy: Adoption for blockchain technology is slower than most projected. Do you think the adoption rate will increase and in which areas do you see the growth in?
Nischal: I think in the next 2 to 3 years crypto will go mainstream. It has already started disrupting payments, and will soon disrupt the supply chain as well. Most importantly, crypto can help the unbanked with financial inclusion.
We hope to see much more innovation in the Indian crypto ecosystem such that it solves India specific problems.
Anndy: Bitcoin is the leader on Coinmarketcap as we all know. Do you think there will be another coin that will go close to take over their position in the market?
Nischal: There won’t be another Bitcoin as it’s a decentralised asset class which is owned by the public. If it was a private entity then you could have thought of having alternatives. However, there are thousands of utility tokens and there will be millions of utility tokens eventually. These are crypto with specific use cases such as ETH which is used on Ethereum Blockchain, WRX which is used in WazirX for trading incentives etc
Anndy: Many are bullish on #Bitcoin, just for fun, how much do you think Bitcoin will be at the end of the year? $50,000?
Nischal: If you look at the history of Bitcoin halving until now, you’ll see how it’s pushed its price up. Bitcoin halving just happened last week, and this event will add greatly to the momentum for 2020. Bitcoin is a global asset class, and it will be exciting to see how far up it goes now.
Moreover, Bitcoin was created in the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we’re in the middle of another one. Crypto is showing signs of stability compared to the traditional stock market.
Bitcoin is slowly becoming a popular investment option in global economies with high inflation.
Anndy: The artificial inflation mechanism of the #bitcoin halving of block rewards will no longer have an impact on the price of the cryptocurrency when all 21m are in circulation. Well, we can look at this again in the later part of the year.
Blockcast: Guess it is my turn to ask a few more questions before we end this interview.
Nischal: Sure Melody, go ahead.
Blockcast: Can you share some of your advice on crypto trading and speculation for the readers?
Nischal: Do research about a project before you invest in it. Read up the project’s whitepaper, the stage of development it is in, about the founders and their prior experience.
Blockcast: Last but not least, can you share an inspiring quote for our Readers?
Nischal: Crypto is getting started, and we are in the early stages of the revolution.
We are creating a new crypto revolution!
We are all early adopters, and it’s upon you to educate your friends and family about the crypto ecosystem. Keep busting misinformation around crypto and win!
Blockast: Well said Nischal. Thanks for sharing with us. We need to work together in these early stages to grow the crypto industry.
Nischal: Thanks for your kind words Melody and thank you Anndy to facilitate this interview.
Anndy: It is my pleasure. I believe WazirX will be the gateway for crypto South Asia. “Stay local and be international.”
I hope to see you soon when COVID19 crisis is more controlled. There are many collaborations to be forged and a lot to chat about on DECENT can help in the process.
Nischal: Thanks a lot, see you soon.
Blockcast: For more information about WazirX, you can go to https://wazirx.com/.
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”. Currently, he is appointed as Chairman, Asia for BigONE Exchange and Chief Digital Advisor, Mongolia Productivity Organisation. Anndy is part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, Government of Republic Korea, together with industry experts such as Brock Pierce. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region and was previously the Advisory Board Member of Hyundai DAC Technology.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.
You can read more about Anndy’s work at www.anndy.com