Over the past decade, India has taken massive strides into the digital world. And lately, this digital growth has accelerated mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As technology has undeniably democratised how we live, work and play, it has also brought to the fore cryptocurrencies, which have the potential to liberate India’s financial industry and make it more inclusive.
Last weekend, we hosted The Crypto Summit 2021 — India’s largest crypto and blockchain event — to initiate dialogues on unlocking the country’s blockchain and crypto potential, creating awareness of the opportunities they offer and fostering their adoption across tech, startup and developer communities.
Globally, the crypto market cap grew 10x, from more than $200 Bn in March 2020 to $2 Tn in mid-May 2021. And the blockchain data platform Chainalysis says that crypto investments in India grew from $923 Mn in April 2020 to cross $6.6 Bn in May 2021.
The industry has also witnessed a spike in interest among casual, retail and institutional investors. Consider this: In a span of two months (June-July 2021), crypto startups in India raised more than $130 Mn.
Crypto exchange CoinDCX emerged as India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn; CoinSwitch Kuber is inching towards the unicorn status and WazirX achieved 10x growth in just five months — recording transactions worth $5.4 Bn in April 2021, from $500 Mn in December 2020.
To help support and propel this growth further, we decided to host The Crypto Summit. What started as a humble effort to contribute to the economy soon became India’s first-ever virtual conference that hosted the founders of Tezos, Solana, FalconX and Polygon. And the audience response was overwhelming.
We saw the participation of more than 1,500 highly engaged and responsive crypto enthusiasts who not only attended the sessions but also shared their insights across social media channels, posted some hard-hitting questions, networked and did much more! They also took home 2 days and more than 20 hours of content and insights!
This would not have been possible without our partners and industry enablers. They helped us conduct a laudable conference, helped with smooth execution and turned out to be avid supporters and promoters of the crypto and blockchain industry.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all our partners!
This global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges was founded in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni and Vimal Sagar Tiwari. The company launched its India-exclusive crypto platform CoinSwitch Kuber in June 2020 to simplify crypto investing for the country’s retail investors.
Since its India launch, the company claims to have onboarded more than 4.5 Mn users and crossed $5 Bn in transaction volume till March 2021. It also claims that in the span of four months (January-April 2021), it has witnessed a 350% increase in user base.
Singhal and Sharan Nair, CBO at CoinSwitch Kuber, also took part in the summit. While Singhal deep-dived into how to build and scale a company in a tokenised world during a fireside chat with Shailesh Lakhani, Nair joined the panel decoding India’s crypto landscape.
In 2014, Piyush Gupta set up the Riqueza Capital Group in Hong Kong to make trade financing affordable and hassle-free for SMBs and MSMEs. By 2020, the company’s website claimed to have funded more than 250 borrowers with a cumulative loan value of close to $500 Mn.
In the first quarter of CY 2021, he founded PolyTrade in India with the same goal, focussing on affordable lending and quick financing to help small borrowers.
Gupta also joined The Crypto Summit as a speaker in a panel discussion titled Building A Secure & Open Financial System On Blockchain. Other speakers on the panel were Glenn Woo, Managing Director, Head of APAC, at Ledger, and Amy Zhang, VP Sales (Asia) at Fireblocks. The session was moderated by Akshay Aggarwal, Venture Partner at Draper Dragon Fund.
“The Crypto Summit was a good platform from a knowledge perspective and multiple paradigms evolving on the role of cryptocurrencies in the Indian economy was quite enlightening. Experts concurring on the real-world use cases of Crypto, which companies like ourselves are trying to incorporate, was heartening indeed,” said PolyTrade’s Gupta when asked about the summit.
In 2014, when bitcoin and the crypto sector started to garner widespread notice, Kathleen Breitman and her husband Arthur founded Tezos.
Tezos is a proof-of-stake blockchain and one of the first to emerge. It is also one of the few networks with on-chain governance that allows the network to be upgraded without a hard fork. A fork involves significant modification to a blockchain network’s protocol that allows previously invalid blocks/transactions to become valid or vice versa.
Arthur and Om Malviya, president of Tezos India, joined the summit for a fireside chat and a masterclass, respectively. While Arthur elaborated on how Tezos is powering the Web3 revolution, Om’s masterclass topic was titled Leveraging Tezos To Build Agile Web3 Startups.
“The Crypto Summit by Inc42 is an important milestone for the entire crypto ecosystem in India. This is the time for all stakeholders in the Indian tech and startup space to come forward, join hands and enable the next wave of innovation right from India, for the world. This event helped Tezos India and all other blockchain entities to send that message forward.” — Om Malviya, President, Tezos India
“We see India as a key market in the APAC region for blockchain adoption. As the blockchain industry is growing rapidly, we are committed to growing blockchain developer talent in India. We are seeing great interest among India’s top universities and a high participation rate for our India-based and regional hackathons,” added Katherine Ng, head of marketing, Tezos APAC.
Launched in 2019 by Tushar Aggarwal, Persistence powers next-gen financial products. It provides an ecosystem of multichain DeFi products designed to stimulate global liquidity and enable seamless value exchange.
Persistence is also collaborating with prominent proof-of-stake networks and foundations to build Interchain NFT and Metadata standards.
Aggarwal also joined the summit to host a masterclass titled Leveraging Blockchain To Future-Proof Your Fintech Product. During this session, he cited different use cases to explain how DeFi would disrupt today’s fintech and more.
Founded by Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin in 2012, Onfido conducts background verification of users and vendor partners for seamless onboarding by companies. Its AI-powered system compares a person’s government-issued ID to his/her facial biometrics to determine the authenticity of the ID proof.
The company has offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Lisbon, Paris, Delhi and Singapore and claims to have more than 1,500 companies such as Revolut, bunq and Bitstamp in its portfolio.
Harvinder Singh, Onfido’s VP of sales and operations, APAC, also hosted a masterclass at the summit on Balancing Scale & Security For Seamless User Onboarding. The session explained how to deal with the challenges of user onboarding in the crypto world, why traditional methods of identity proofing fail in today’s remote scenario and more.