$2.5T crypto market will not wait for nations to onboard: WazirX CEO

Nischal Shetty, an Indian entrepreneur and CEO of Crypto Exchange WazirX, envisions a race between countries to launch their own local issuance of central bank digital currencies next year.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Shetty said 2022 will be an extension of the ongoing discussions around crypto regulations, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the emergence of metaverses:

We are optimistic that we will gain regulatory clarity and see institutional involvement fueling retail adoption. We also expect to see more metaverse projects stepping in. “

Shetty noted that today’s crypto industry – directly or indirectly – employs about 50,000 people in India, which according to Nasscom research, is expected to grow twice as fast with the potential to create more than 800,000 jobs by 2030.

Acknowledging delays in crypto regulations around the world, Shetty told The Economic Times that nighttime regulation could hurt the ecosystem’s progress and leave loopholes open for bad actors:

“There is a $2.5 trillion market out there, and no country is waiting to join in. I have tweeted “#IndiaWantsCrypto” for over 1,000 days with the sole aim of having cryptocurrency regulation in India.”

Discussions about cryptocurrencies have been so prevalent in India this year that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have pointed out the need for crypto regulations. In addition, the Indian Parliament has winter introduced a crypto bill that seeks to ban “private” cryptocurrencies.

The question for every nation is: Do they want to participate and get a share of this pie?asked Shetty. He also predicted that global participation in cryptocurrency would go from 150 million to 400 million people if next year follows a growth trajectory similar to 2021.

Shetty highlighted that the NFT token buying spree may slow in 2022 as investors attempt to resell through secondary markets, adding:

Web3 will open doors for innovation and more startups in India. Along with the rise in NFTs, it will play a huge role in boosting India’s innovative economy.”

Crypto exchange WazirX has spearheaded several marketing efforts to educate Indian investors about cryptocurrencies and launched transparency reports and policies to add credibility to the ecosystem. Shetty believes that spreading correct information and busting misinformation will accelerate crypto adoption in India, and concluded:

“Cointelegraph is doing a great job spreading education and awareness about cryptocurrency among the masses. I wish all readers a Happy New Year of cryptocurrency!”

Related: India to regulate, not ban, encryption: Cabinet documents

Local reports in early December indicated that the Indian government would regulate the crypto sector rather than impose an outright ban.

According to Indian news outlet NDTV, a Cabinet memo relating to the proposed crypto bill included proposals to regulate cryptocurrencies as crypto assets, as the Securities and Exchange Board of India would oversee the regulation of domestic crypto exchanges.

However, NDTV correspondent Sunil Prabhu said that the Government of India would not consider adopting cryptocurrency as legal tender:

“[Cryptocurrency] As a legal tender it will not be accepted. This is clearly not. I think that’s what even the Prime Minister made very clear in his deliberations at that meeting to ensure that doesn’t happen.”