Crypto exchanges in India are doing very poorly as of late. Companies like Wazir X, Coin DCX, and Zebpay are experiencing their lowest trading volumes, and executives don’t know what to do.
Crypto Exchanges in India Are Not Doing Well
Things have taken a nasty turn in recent weeks as the crypto market continues to slump. Bitcoin, for example, has fallen to about $21,000 per unit at the time of writing when just nine months ago, the currency was trading for around $68,000, a new all-time high. In just the last few months alone, the entire crypto space lost more than $2 trillion in valuation.
Bitbns is one of the exchanges in India that’s seeing its numbers dip. Gaurav Dahake – the company’s CEO – explained in a recent interview:
We are seeing a situation like this for the third time. A similar scenario played out in 2018-19 as well. The only difference is this is happening at a larger scale. A lot of exchanges have expanded their teams, hiring hundreds of people. Back then, most teams were very small. Wazir X had 12-13 people. We didn’t hire as much last year, but we are hiring now because it’s a good market for hiring. From here on, we will see exchanges taking different paths.
He also had a few things to say about Vauld’s recent freezing of withdrawals and layoffs, commenting:
Vauld is just one of the examples. They had operational issues. They hired aggressively and were looking to raise a $100 million round, but that didn’t materialize. Exchanges are also coming up with innovative solutions to circumvent TDS. Of course, there are tougher times, but I think we are close to how worse it can get.
Sidharth Sogani – founder and CEO of CREBACO Global – explained Vauld’s idea of letting people go wasn’t a bad idea. Sogani said:
Laying off is a very good strategic move. If I am laying off, it means I am going to survive this time, but volumes going down along with it will not help. In the ongoing situation, I will say it is not just crypto-centric. Layoffs and funding shortages are happening globally and across sectors. Crypto is just a taboo word. If the market starts going up and there’s momentum in crypto, people are ready to pay 30 percent tax and jump in, but there is no momentum [now], and this type of recession with [the] pandemic and wars is happening for the first time.
Sanjay Mehta – founder and partner at 100X.VC in India – said:
If we look at crypto as a market singularly, separate from opportunities in blockchain and web3, it will be an injustice to an asset-driven market which will always be cyclical… Speculative investors will be facing the impact of the ongoing events. We as VCs (venture capitalists) are not speculators and look at crypto very differently.