There’s a new Indian crypto lobby in the making and Zebpay has confirmed its participation

There’s a new Indian crypto lobby in the making and Zebpay has confirmed its participation
Business Insider
  • Crypto exchanges in India are looking to form a new lobby and push for self-regulation.
  • This new coalition will be formed under IndiaTech, an industry body that represents other startups like Ola, MakeMyTrip, and Dream11.
  • Zebpay has confirmed its participation and other crypto exchanges are reportedly mulling it over.
Crypto exchanges are joining hands to create a new lobby in India as regulatory uncertainty still looms overhead. And, this new lobby will be under the umbrella of IndiaTech — an industry body representing the country's leading internet startups like Ola, MakeMyTrip, Nykaa, Dream11, and more.

Crypto exchange ZebPay has already confirmed its plans to join IndiaTech while other exchanges are still mulling it over, according to the Economic Times.

The new lobby won’t replace the work already being done with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), but be another avenue for these nascent companies to make their case to the Indian government, banks and other regulatory authorities.

CoinDCX, a competing crypto exchange, is already a ‘standard member’ of IndiaTech.

Self-regulation may buy crypto exchanges sometime


Regulating an industry like crypto is not a straightforward task. Intricate details of new legislation can take months or even years to be prepared. India’s Personal Data Protection Bill has been stuck in the pipeline for three years as concerns over data usage and privacy have continued to escalate.

In uncertain circumstances, the government has opted for a unique approach to address its issues with self-regulation. With this, the government not only looks like it’s taken a stance against what it believes to be against the law, but it has also passed the buck onto the organisations themselves to stay in line.

For instance, over-the-top (OTT) players like Netflix and Prime Video were asked to self-censor the content back in 2019. This bought them two years. Come 2021, the government issued the new IT Rules that may solve grievance redressals but brings up issues of content-related disputes.

Following the same strategy, IndiaTech introduced a whitepaper in May 2021, proposing a five-point framework to regulate or monitor the industry.

There’s a new Indian crypto lobby in the making and Zebpay has confirmed its participation

A new avenue to show the Indian government that crypto exchanges are serious about regulation

Leading crypto exchanges in the country have also created a new industry body called the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) under the aegis of IAMAI.

These companies, which include Zebay, WazirX, and others have created self-regulating guidelines for money laundering, financial terrorism, and foreign exchange blunders. Until the government finds a solid regulatory body or framework, the self-imposed rules can help ease friction.

Crypto exchanges and many experts have urged the government to consider cryptocurrencies as an asset class, removing any doubt that it could potentially affect the country's fiat currency -- the rupee.

At the same time, crypto exchanges are in overtime mode, reaching out to the government, banks, financial institutions, and more to seek acceptance and make way for a crypto future.

Uber, Ola, Dream11 and others went through similar hurdles

India is infamous for its bureaucracy and red tape, a hurdle that every startup on the cusp of innovation has had to deal with.

Uber and Ola faced a hard time getting legal protection or approval. The entire country was under the control of cab mafias and unions that restricted a free market-like play. A considerable amount of dialogue and convincing was required to make cab-hailing services the new norm.

Similarly, Dream11 faced a unique challenge of operating its business since betting is considered illegal in the country. How do you pitch fantasy sports and their prediction as not ‘gambling’?

The company defended its model by saying users require skills to make informed or correct decisions, improving their winning chances. In line with the stock market, it's a healthy mix of fundamental knowledge and market-based speculation. Today, a plethora of players like MPL, CricPlay, and more are leading the segment.

And, crypto exchanges want to paint a picture of being like any of these other startups by associating themselves with IndiaTech. Just as these other services were too unique to be judged from the top, crypto exchanges too are merely ahead of their time.


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