June 8, 2022
By Anjali Kochhar
Even as regulatory uncertainty continues to be a hurdle for India’s cryptocurrency industry, CoinDCX Ventures Managing Director Rohit Jain believes that the country will have the most number of Web3 developers in a year or so.
Not only this, but Jain also believes that India will have the largest or second-largest crypto retail consumer base soon.
“We don’t have the most number of Web3 developers but this has seen a trend change even over the last six months when not only the quantity but the quality of Web3 developers who were very deep in the blockchain and crypto space has been improving by leaps and bounds,” Jain said.
“So, I fundamentally believe that India will have the most number of Web3 developers and the most number of Web3 consumers in the world over the period of 12 to 16 months. And both these things coming together create a very powerful mix,” he added.
A recent report by Electric Capital also revealed that India is witnessing the biggest relative growth in Web3 development compared to other economies including the U.S., Germany, UK, France, Russia and Poland.
Jain believes that the growth of Web3 developers in the country will happen despite the regulatory uncertainty in the country.
“And this is despite all the regulatory uncertainty there is in the market. We have the most number of DeFi (decentralized finance) users in the world. And again, this is despite all the regulatory uncertainty we believe with regulatory certainty and with more clarity, there’s a possibility we could be the largest or second-largest retail crypto base in the world, which presents a very unique opportunity for India,” he said.
The Indian government introduced taxation on digital assets in its 2022-23 Union Budget, leading to optimism in the industry that it is on a path to regulation and clarity.
But Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman then said the tax doesn’t mean the industry has been legalised, roiling the industry and dampening sentiment.
Jain fundamentally believes that there is no question of a ban and the discussion is more about how to regulate the space. He believes that Web3 entrepreneurs in the space should have a “long-term point of view” and should be “very quick in terms of innovation” to stay as the space is evolving right now.
Last month, CoinDCX announced the launch of CoinDCX Ventures, an investment initiative that will fund early-stage crypto and blockchain startups. Jain was appointed as senior vice president and head of ventures and investments to lead CoinDCX Ventures.
The platform will focus on the Web3 ecosystem in India and globally, and plans to invest Rs. 100 crores in the startups over the next 12 months.
What’s the industry’s take on this?
Sharat Chandra, VP- Research & Strategy, EarthID, backs Jain’s comments and believes that Web3 developers building tools and services for the infrastructure layer aren’t inhibited by geographical boundaries. He further said that regulatory uncertainty and taxation will only have a “muted” impact on builders and creators building innovative solutions for the Web3 economy.
“Crypto exchanges in India have created an enabling ecosystem for the web3.0 era by offering funding, advisory support, and forging alliances with educational bodies to build the talent pool to cater to web3.0 development,” Chandra added.
On the other hand, Hitesh Malviya, the founder of venture capital firm IBC Capital, made a point that a lot of Web3 entrepreneurs are operating from India but are registering their offices in a more favourable regulatory environment for business, either in Dubai or other countries with more regulatory clarity.
“They are afraid to register from here because the regulatory clarity is not there yet and the taxation is very high,” Malviya said.
Similarly, Raj Kapoor, founder of India Blockchain Alliance believes that there is still a lack of awareness about blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the country that has not been addressed and the country is jumping on to training Web3 professionals, which “needs to be turned right on its head,” he said.
“Our education system is broken and most institutes are lagging when it comes to being in sync with industry 4.0. The academia-industry gap needs to be bridged. Web 3.0 is the future and needs to be part of our curriculum. Add the entrepreneurship edge to this and we have a steady stream of industry-ready resources for future jobs and startups,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor believes that Indian exchange CoinDCX could be a frontrunner in incubating the Web 3.0 work brigade.
On the whole, the industry was of a view that cryptocurrency is different from blockchain technology and the government of India will continue to support Web3 development even if they may think of banning cryptos.
“Crypto ban or not, blockchain is the real deal and Web 3.0 powered on the blockchain is the future of the internet,” Kapoor said.
Malviya said, “Blockchain is something RBI also supports and Web3 development will have a future in the country.”
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.