OKEx CEO: P2P platform an ‘important fiat on-ramp’ in India

Global digital currency exchange OKEx is expanding its presence in India by launching a peer-to-peer trading platform. The platform will allow the users to buy digital currencies in the Indian rupee at zero fees, OKEx confirmed in an interview with CoinGeek.

OKEx has been operating in India through a partnership with the local digital currency exchange, CoinDCX. However, OKEx CEO Jay Hao believes that the P2P platform is an important piece of the puzzle in a country that has had a checkered past between the digital currency and banking industries.

Speaking to CoinGeek, Hao explained, “Many traders, despite the overturn of the RBI ban on financial institutions working with cryptocurrency companies, can’t or prefer not to link their bank account to cryptocurrency transactions. The platform will also serve as an important fiat on-ramp.”

India also has a huge unbanked population, with studies putting the number of adults without a bank account just shy of 200 million. This is second-largest number of unbanked residents, only behind the neighboring China. The P2P platform will ensure that this population can access digital currencies easily.

OKEx is one of the largest centralized exchanges, but as Hao noted, the exchange has been exploring other avenues to reach more people.

“We believe that there are many different needs in the cryptocurrency space and not all of these are necessarily served by a centralized exchange. DeFi and CeFi can complement each other well and especially in countries like India where users may not have a bank account, or may be unwilling to link their account to crypto transactions, this offers the perfect solution,” he stated.

While digital currency exchanges depend on fees to make profits, the P2P platform will not charge its users any fees. OKEx plans on making the platform a crucial gateway to the digital currency world, with the users getting to be introduced to other OKEx products. The exchange is further giving out 30,000 USDT to its users who refer their friends to the platform.

The P2P platform comes at a time when the future of the Indian digital currency industry is uncertain. In June this year, the Finance Ministry proposed a bill that seeks to ban digital currencies in the South Asian country. As CoinGeek reported recently, this bill is still awaiting approval from the relevant authorities.

Hao believes that despite the bleak outlook, India’s lawmakers will pass enabling regulations rather than banning digital currencies altogether.

He told CoinGeek, “Despite the latest news of a possible law to ban cryptocurrencies, however, we remain encouraged by the talks that we have had with our Indian partners that a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies is unlikely to pass. Instead, we are hopeful that the government will outline sensible, clear and needed measures to regulate the cryptocurrency market in India and protect investors without making cryptocurrencies illegal.”

OKEx has had a great year, seeing record levels in trading volume. Its derivatives platform has experienced great growth this year, becoming the largest in the digital currencies industry. The exchange has also launched several new products, including digital currency options, a C2C loan feature and an expansion of the perpetual swap.

“All in all, it has been an extremely successful and exciting year for OKEx.”

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