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India 'Sleeping' on Crypto and Blockchain Economic Opportunities: Kavin Mittal

India is one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world. However, the authorities' wait-and-watch approach to crypto regulation risks leaving the country behind as other countries tap into the sector's potential.

Hike CEO Kevin Mittal on state of crypto in India

Blockchain and crypto is a booming technology segment, however, a lack of a proper regulatory framework can pose a significant danger and risks to the public. Different countries take different approaches in that regard, and India's position is quite specific.

According to Kavin Mittal, the founder of Hike, an Indian blockchain startup, India is a 'sleeping giant' in crypto. The 1.4 billion population from which over 600 million people are using smartphones daily is a vast market. While more than 90% of the population earns less than $300 a dollar, crypto and blockchain technology could present unique economic opportunities.

“Everybody is trying to earn income. I feel like crypto and blockchain technology fundamentally speaking is one of the ways we can unlock that potential in the Indian market,” Mittal said

According to Mittal, the uptake of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain solutions has been high in India as most of them offer a way of earning on the side. In addition, play-to-earn and learn-to-earn platforms continue to elicit strong interest as people look for ways to supplement their daily incomes while doing what they love the most.

Hike is one of the new startups in India that is unlocking new opportunities through which people can earn. Last year, the startup raised fresh funds for its gaming platform, the Rush Gaming Universe, to build a Web 3 vision for Rush. According to Mittal, the platform will offer people in emerging markets like India a way of playing their favorite games on blockchain, growing and earning at the same time. Hike currently has 14 games on the platform and does over a billion monthly transactions with a couple of million people using it.

A confusing regulatory framework is a major headwind standing in the way of Indians unlocking the full potential of the blockchain innovations like Web3 and cryptocurrencies. While there is no explicit regulation of the sector, the country has introduced a tax structure around cryptocurrencies.

The tax structure signals that the country is slowly recognizing that the industry is important, which, according to Mittal, is a first step. However, it is not perfect. How India treats cryptocurrency will determine a great deal of how the sector evolves and the ability of people to unlock value.

Amid the regulatory uncertainty, crypto and blockchain companies are increasingly setting up its base in India as they look to take advantage of the 1.4 billion target market. Gemini is the latest US exchange to confirm plans to set up an engineering hub in India as part of a larger trend.

This year India is poised to host a G20 meeting where crypto regulation will be one of the topics. The IMF is one of the bodies that will take part in the talks that will seek to analyze the risks posed by digital assets. However, whether the meeting will develop rules governing the sector is still an open discussion that we will continue to Observe.