‘INR Only Legal Tender,’ Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX’s Founder Backs Government On Crypto Regulation


  • Indian Rupee only legal tender in India: WazirX founder
  • Glad about crypto classified as assets: Nischal Shetty
  • The Indian government released a Cabinet note on crypto regulation 

India’s largest crypto exchange WazirX has backed New Delhi’s recently publicized decision to regulate cryptocurrencies and classify them as a new asset class. 

WazirX founder Nischal Shetty said that as an industry, they are “in sync with the fact that Indian Rupee [INR] is the only legal tender in India, and about crypto being an asset/utility which people buy and sell.” 

“It’s good to hear that India plans to regulate crypto. Crypto can be classified as currency, asset, utility, or security,” Shetty said in a written response to questions sent by International Business Times.

The Indian government circulated a Cabinet note last week, suggesting that cryptos will be regulated in the country instead of banning them outright. The note made clear that cryptos will be treated as an asset, but not legal currency. 

Central banks across the world — including in India and China — have been wary of the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and have speeded up plans to launch their own central bank-backed digital currencies, or CBDCs, in response.

Quoting India’s former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, the WazirX founder said: “There should be a prohibition on the ‘currency’ use case  —  one of the many use cases of crypto.” 

“I’m glad that as a nation, we’re having a conversation about it,” he added. 

New Delhi plans to allow existing crypto exchange platforms to deal with crypto assets, but also have India’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), police the platforms. Anyone violating the exchange provisions will be punished with criminal imprisonment of up to one and a half years, according to the broad outlines of the upcoming law that will be tabled in India’s parliament this month.

WazirX is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in India. The global crypto exchange and blockchain ecosystem Binance acquired it in 2019. Investors can buy and sell crypto with the Indian rupee on the Binance Fiat Gateway.

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