Fintech giant Paytm may offer digital asset trading if India legalizes them

One of India’s largest digital payments platform could offer digital asset trading if regulators step in and legalize them. A senior executive at Paytm provided an insight into the company’s Bitcoin ambitions at a time when it’s preparing to conduct one of India’s largest IPOs.

India’s digital currency industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, shooting up from about $900 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in October 2021. This growth comes despite the lack of regulations and even against reports that the government is considering an outright ban.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Paytm Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora said the payments company has also been keeping an eye on the industry.

“Bitcoin is still in a regulatory grey area if not a regulatory ban in India. At the moment Paytm does not do Bitcoin. If it was ever to become fully legal in the country then clearly there could be offerings we could launch,” Deora said.

Paytm is one of India’s largest financial firms, with more than 20 million merchants using its QR code payment system. The firm is set to go public this month and is valued at over $18 billion. Its entry into the market would avail digital currencies to a much larger market and propel the industry to new heights.

As Paytm considers joining Bitcoin, another fintech giant in India has ruled it out. Zerodha, the country’s largest brokerage firm with over 7.5 million clients, isn’t seeking to venture into the industry, its CEO recently revealed. According to him, the unregulated nature of the industry makes it a no-go zone for his firm.

As these fintech giants buy their time, India’s exchanges are expanding more aggressively. These exchanges have strived to make it as easy as possible to invest in digital currencies as they target younger investors. It’s now easier to buy a digital currency in India than to order pizza, Reuters notes

The exchanges, led by market leader Coinswitch Kuber, have embarked on an ad blitz in India, primarily targeting popular sports such as cricket and using Indian celebrities as brand ambassadors. 

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