NEW DELHI: India’s top cryptocurrency exchange nearly doubled its trading volumes month-on-month in February, despite fears of a government-imposed ban on crypto assets. According to a tweet by Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX, the largest crypto exchange in India, the company hit $2.3 billion in trading volumes on 21 February. Volumes were at $1.4 billion on 21 January, and at $500 million as on 20 December.
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The future of crypto trading in India has been in question since the Budget session began in February. The Indian government was expected to bring a bill that bans “private cryptocurrencies” in the country, and lay framework for the creation of a digital rupee. While the definition of private cryptocurrencies wasn’t clear at the time, experts believed that the bill will make it illegal to buy, sell or deal in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies in the country.
At the same time though, interest in crypto trading grew, thanks to big moves made by global companies. Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla announced that it has invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, while payments provider Mastercard said it would start accepting cryptocurrencies on its network from this year.
WazirX had earlier told Mint that it took the company 11 days to hit the billion-dollar mark in February, while its total for January was $1.84 billion.
“Crypto is a global phenomenon. The moment a Tesla spends $1.5 billion, your wealth in India has increased. Most of your investments are very local, but in crypto, anyone anywhere in the world can affect your wealth. People in India have been joining based on all of this positive news that’s been coming,” Shetty had told Mint.