Crypto exchange CoinDCX nets $90M despite uncertain regulatory environment

The news: CoinDCX scored a $90 million Series C funding round led by investment firm B Capital amid surging cryptocurrency interest among consumers in India this year, per The Economic Times.

What does it do? CoinDCX operates a crypto exchange through which consumers can buy and sell various digital currencies and a lending platform where users can earn interest on their cryptocurrencies.

What’s driving its growth? CoinDCX boasts more than 4.5 million users and said it doubled its user base over the last two months, according to The Economic Times. Consumers in India can’t seem to get enough crypto: Investments jumped 612% year over year in April 2021 to $6.6 billion, up from $923 million.

India has the 11th-highest crypto adoption rate globally, according to Chainalysis. High consumer interest is fueled by a young, tech-savvy population seeking high returns from their investments. And people who have been excluded from mainstream financial institutions can easily access crypto platforms, which is likely why other developing countries like Vietnam and Nigeria were also among the top 10 adopters.

Where’s the Indian crypto space headed? In spite of an uncertain regulatory environment, investors are still piling into crypto fintechs.

  • Regulatory uncertainty. There remain lingering concerns that regulators will ban private crypto exchanges and all trading, in line with a January government agenda to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC)—Indian regulators reiterated last week that they will not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender. But it’s extremely unclear whether such bold steps will be taken: A finance minister said in March that a blanket ban was unlikely.
  • Private investment. A potential regulatory clampdown hasn’t dampened investment in Indian fintechs: Total investments in blockchain and crypto startups have increased 10-fold in the last two years in India. Crypto fintechs CoinSwitch Kuber and Vauld both netted $25 million in the last few months, and the funding trend shows no sign of slowing down.