Landmark Ruling by Supreme Court + COVID-19 = Massive Growth for Indian Crypto Exchanges

A landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India together fear and uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have helped crypto exchanges in the world’s second-most populous country see massive growth in Q1 2020.

On 4 March 2020, India's Supreme Court said that the order dated 6 April 2018 by India's central bank -- i.e. the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) -- that prohibited banks and other financial institutions from providing services to crypto-related businesses (e.g. crypto exchanges) was unconstitutional. 

This meant that residents of India would be able to send fiat currency (INR) from their banks to crypto exchanges in order to buy crypto and that they would be able to receive fiat currency (INR) from crypto exchanges when selling their crypto holdings.

Ashish Singhal, the chief executive of the cryptocurrency exchange Coin Switch, told Coindesk back then:

“This is the first step towards embracing cryptocurrency in India, which has the potential of becoming one of the largest crypto markets."

This landmark ruling also increased awareness of the fact that the government of India has never said that cryptocurrencies are illegal (although some people say that this could still happen at some point in the future despite this ruling by the Supreme Court, especially since the government reportedly submitted a draft bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” to the Supreme Court in August 2019).

Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinDCX, which is India's largest crypto exchange, said back then:

"The clarity that the judgment has brought, will help crypto adoption as a whole and which in tune will see a spike in volume."

Earlier today, Coindesk reported that trading volumes on Indian crypto exchanges immediately increased following the Supreme Court's ruling.

Then, on March 24, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week nationwide lockdown in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.

Yesterday, CoinDCX said via a press release shared with CryptoGlobe that it had just celebrated its two-year anniversary, and it outlined some of the major milestones it had achieved in Q1 2020:

  • "47% growth in trading volumes (Q1 2020)"
  • "10x growth in signups on the trading platform"
  • "150% growth in daily active users since the Supreme Court judgement in March 2020"

CoinDCX's CEO had this to say:

“As we reach our second birthday, my co-founder Neeraj Khandelwal and I are very proud of the accomplishments and hard work of our CoinDCX family.

"The RBI banned crypto trading in India just as we launched the company, which was a big obstacle for us.

"However, through the ingenuity and dedication of our team, we were able to grow the company to the 50-person operation it is today. 

“Everyone at CoinDCX is committed to the growth of the Indian crypto industry and we are encouraged by the excitement and confidence shown to the market by the influx of outside investors.

"We are also seeing greater confidence from our platform users as they explore crypto as an alternative investment, placing greater numbers of orders and branching out to margin trading. 

Despite the huge amount of interest in crypto trading in India, some traders remain worried by a report published by Economic Times on March 6:

"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is planning to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the quashing of a central bank circular aimed at curbing cryptocurrencies, said people with knowledge of the matter. The central bank is concerned that the apex court’s decision on Wednesday could pave the way for trading in virtual currencies and put the banking system at risk."

Featured Image by "jaydeep_ " via Pixabay.com