- OKX, a top 10 global crypto exchange, plans to expand into India’s Web3 space and tap the country’s developer talent.
- However, OKX is approaching India cautiously given the regulatory uncertainty around crypto.
- While OKX won’t offer trading or fiat on-ramps initially in India, it aims to recruit an India team to build Web3 applications.
India’s complex crypto regulations have given pause to major exchange OKX, despite the country’s renowned tech talent. OKX plans a cautious entry into the Indian market to explore Web3 applications, CoinDesk learned this week.
“We are not going to come in and cowboy this thing,” said OKX CMO Haider Rafique. “We’re going to learn about the community. We’re going to work with local folks. Figure out where we can add value.”
With no global HQ, OKX currently has hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, and the Bahamas. The exchange aims to tap Indian developers to expand its wallet services, per Rafique. OKX wallets currently have 200,000 Indian users, or just 5% of the country’s Web3 users.
OKX, one of the top 10 crypto exchanges globally, is eyeing a foray into India's Web3 space.
The goal? To tap into India's burgeoning developer community and explore Web3 applications.
2: 🌐 With regional hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, and the Bahamas, OKX aims to scale… pic.twitter.com/tVUxFCyqoP— The Token Dispatch (@tokendispatch_) September 1, 2023
India’s crypto stance remains uncertain
Crypto’s legal status in India is ambiguous at best. While not banned outright, India levies stiff crypto trading taxes and anti-money laundering rules. But no parliamentary legislation defines policies for crypto or Web3. The central bank opposes crypto legalization, instead pushing CBDC. As G20 president, India advocates unified global crypto regulations.
This uncertain regulatory landscape has discouraged major global crypto exchanges from entering India. Per AppTweak data, six of the top 10 Indian trading apps are from international platforms. Coinbase suspended services days after its Indian launch. Politicians urge decoupling Web3 from crypto.
Without trading or fiat on-ramps, OKX currently sees no need for an Indian office. However recruitment is underway for an India-based team to guide Web3 efforts. Despite the nation’s crypto constraints, OKX remains drawn to the strengths of India’s developer talent pool.