Year in review 2021 | Highlights of the Indian crypto saga this year

India has a strange relationship with cryptocurrencies. The government was set to twice introduce a crypto bill to ban “all private cryptocurrencies” this year before pulling out. Meanwhile, demand for these digital assets has exploded across the country amid the pandemic, and especially in 2021.

The Indian cryptocurrency market grew 641% from July 2020 to June 2021, helping to transform a region spanning Central and South Asia and Oceania into one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency markets. fastest in the world, according to an October Chainalysis report.

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Let’s take a look at some of the defining moments in the Indian crypto space in 2021.


The crypto bill, take 1: In January, a Lok Sabha newsletter said the government would introduce a bill in the budget session of Parliament that would ban “all private cryptocurrencies” and put in place a framework to create an official digital currency that would be issued. by the Reserve Bank of India. But in the end, the bill is not tabled.


Do not prohibit, regulate: In March, cryptocurrency players represented by the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) called on the government not to ban cryptocurrencies, proposing instead to develop mechanisms to regulate the ecosystem. The body estimated that cryptocurrency generates jobs in various functions such as law, compliance, technology, marketing, business development, finance, both in India and abroad.

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Polygon among the top 20 cryptographic tokens: In May, the Polygon crypto token, created by three Indians, surpassed $ 10 billion in market capitalization. With a market cap of over $ 19 billion, it was among the top 20 crypto tokens in the world at the time, according to Coinmarketcap.com.


Dogecoin mania: In May, Dogecoin mania hit Indian cryptocurrency exchanges. They have witnessed record Dogecoin trading volumes and a massive surge in traffic. Binance-owned WazirX’s Doge / INR trading slowed its entire system.


Adoption of cryptography: In August, India ranked second in terms of crypto adoption amid a surge in cryptocurrency assets around the world, a report from blockchain data platform Chainalysis showed. India was just behind Vietnam in the study, which ranked countries based on the total cryptocurrency received, the amount of cryptocurrency moved in transactions under $ 10,000, and the volume of P2P exchanges, all weighted by purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita.


The first Indian crypto unicorn: Also in August, India got its first crypto unicorn after CoinDCX raised $ 90 million in a Series C round, led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, B Capital.

■ A second soon follows: In October, CoinSwitch Kuber, a cryptocurrency platform for retail traders, became a unicorn after raising $ 260 million, the biggest funding round for a crypto company in India. The fundraiser was co-led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures, the venture capital arm of Coinbase Inc, listed on Nasdaq.


World Cup advertising blitz: Indian cryptocurrency exchanges collectively spent over Rs 50 crore during the ICC T20 World Cup in October and November. Data showed that the CoinDCX cryptocurrency exchange advertised seven times per match on each channel during the tournament, spending a total of Rs 40 crore on sponsorship on Star Sports. Rival CoinSwitch Kuber focused on Star Disney + Hotstar’s video streaming service during the World Cup.


Stakeholders meet RBI for the first time: In November, the Reserve Bank of India first met with crypto players to discuss gray areas. The meeting called by the RBI brought together senior officials from the central bank, three exchanges, a crypto broker and industry body Indiatech.org, which had prepared a white paper on cryptocurrencies.


Crypto invoice, take 2: In November, the government again appeared likely to introduce a cryptocurrency bill during the winter session of parliament starting on November 29, when those currencies are said to be used to lure investors with misleading claims and to finance terrorist activities.


The crypto bill skips the winter session: But the bill was again delayed because the government reportedly considered changing the proposed framework. The issues debated included the need for broader consultation and soliciting public comment, and whether the central bank digital currency (CBDC) that will be introduced by the RBI should be part of this bill or be processed under RBI law.

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