India’s cryptoverse is in a state of panic on recent news that the government is set to introduce laws to regulate the sector. Many speculate there will be a blanket ban on all crypto investments. On November 24, WazirX, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, crashed temporarily as investors flocked to sell their assets. Nischal Shetty, who founded WazirX in 2017 and sold it to the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance in 2019, has been at the forefront of lobbying for cryptocurrencies in India.
How would you explain cryptocurrency to an Indian who knows nothing about it?
Crypto is not a replacement for fiat currency. Crypto is a digital asset that runs on a decentralized peer-to-peer network called the blockchain. Blockchain and crypto are commonly misunderstood. India has not officially banned crypto, what we hear are speculations. The crypto industry in India is all set to reach almost $241 million by 2030, generating 6.6 billion retail investments in crypto-assets and employment for almost 50,000 individuals, according to research we did with [trade association] NASSCOM.
If there’s one thing you could warn a new cryptocurrency investor about, what would it be?
Cryptos are not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a high-risk, high-return form of investment because it is at a nascent stage and is volatile. However, if you look at crypto as a long-term asset, you are in for a big haul. In fact, investors who bought crypto at the peak of the 2017 bull run, not only recovered their principal but also made significant profits after the market crashed and recovered in 2020.
What would be the one thing you would tell an aspiring entrepreneur?
I would tell them that it is vital to make your entrepreneurial journey authentic and relatable. Some other important traits for an entrepreneur are self-encouragement, and a clear process and mental model for decision-making. Lastly, if you aren’t tenacious enough and you don’t keep pushing, you cannot pave the way towards success.
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