Coinswitch in India adds non-digital currency products despite strict tax policies

India’s CoinSwitch adds non-digital currency products amid stern tax policies

India-based virtual asset platform CoinSwitch has made a leap toward offering financial products outside digital assets for its users.

The new products offered by the traditional digital asset firm include mutual funds, stocks, U.S. equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and fixed deposits. An interview with CoinSwitch’s CEO Ashish Singhal disclosed that the decision to offer a new range of products has been in the works for over two years and is designed to “make investing easier for Indians.”

“We are here to be able to help India invest better. Today, less than 0.2% of India actually invests beyond fixed deposits. And what CoinSwitch wants to do is get to hundred million users in the next four years who actively invest,” Singhal said.

Singhal noted that CoinSwitch has secured several partners ahead of the launch but failed to disclose details on the partnerships. The CEO downplayed the dire conditions in the virtual currency industry as a driver for the new offerings, noting that CoinSwitch’s mission statement was to “give people a way to invest across asset classes, starting with crypto.”

He conceded that the introduction of stern tax policies on India’s virtual currency industry was a big blow to the wider ecosystem but welcomed the intention of “traceability and taxability” by the government.

CoinSwitch increased its staff strength by 40% in 2022 despite the streak of layoffs that inundated the space. Its CEO pointed out that CoinSwitch’s massive headcount increase resulted from proper financial policies and a sound hiring process.

“As our recent proof of reserves and liabilities report showed, CoinSwitch’s cash holdings in Indian Rupees are 7.21 times the Indian Rupees balance of our users. We have a healthy investment runway, and a frugal approach, making us confident of our financial health,” Singhal said.

Peering into the future

In the interview, CoinSwitch’s CEO attempted to predict the outlook for 2023, beginning with India’s development of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Singhal predicted that in the year ahead, distributed ledger technology (DLT) would see an increase in real-world utility, with governments relying on them to streamline their processes.

“Crypto is still an emerging asset class. It is difficult to say whether 2023 will be better or worse,” Singhal said. “Despite entering the 2023 with bear sentiments, the industry continues to build and innovate.”

To foster growth in the industry, Singhal ended his interview with a passionate plea for India to review its tax policy toward digital assets to accommodate innovators and all classes of investors.

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