*This is in partnership with BloombergQuint BrandStudio
Nischal Shetty has been a blockchain advocate and influencer with a huge social media following for many years. Famous for founding Crowdfire, a social media management tool with 20 million users after an all-night coding session, Nischal’s dream was to involve as many Indians as possible in the blockchain revolution to help the country benefit from the trust and productivity gains that blockchain can drive.
But he got serious about cryptocurrency (aka crypto) when centralised social networks like Twitter and Instagram started cutting off API access in 2017. He realised that users could not depend on centralised companies, since they could change the rules of the game anytime they wanted.
After experimenting with Indian crypto exchanges and being repeatedly disappointed by the user experience (UX) as well as the opaqueness that was a direct contrast to the trust that blockchain stood for, Nischal decided to build WazirX in 2018.
The name WazirX comes from the word ‘Wazir,’ the Urdu term for the Queen piece in chess, considered one of the most powerful pieces in the game. It’s also ironic that WazirX was born in the same country where the great game of chess was invented. Nischal started WazirX with a goal to provide users with the most powerful crypto trading interface accessible to everyone in India, and that has been a constant since inception. So much so that within 20 months of building the platform, WazirX was acquired by the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance.
Currently, WazirX stands tall as India’s largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchange and is trusted by global investors as well. 2020 was a blockbuster year for the exchange since the Supreme Court of India struck down curbs on crypto trading, which boosted crypto adoption in India.
In the most recent quarter (January to March 2021) trading volumes were $6.1 billion, up a massive 405% from the previous quarter. WazirX now has 2 million users and doubled their user base from 1 million in a mere 78 days. The platform also boasts of the highest liquidity in the INR Market in India.
Along with other key features, their exchange’s utility token called WazirX Token (WRX) is also the first token to be backed by an Indian crypto exchange and is listed on more than seven global crypto exchanges; its total supply being 1 billion! These tokens enable users to get trading fee discounts within the WazirX system and can also be used to convert dust balance on WazirX to WRX, in order to trade crypto in the WRX market at zero fee.
The exchange has several other USPs:
● Instant INR (fiat) deposit and withdrawal options
● Smart Token Fund to help crypto investors find expert traders, and let them manage their cryptocurrency portfolio
● The world’s first auto-matching P2P engine with high liquidity
● 150+ market pairs
Since many investors have doubts about crypto even as they want to invest given the growth potential, WazirX is engaging in multi-pronged investor awareness programmes to promote blockchain and educate Indians on cryptocurrency as an alternate investment option. Along with a ‘Crypto Awareness Programme’ on a leading TV channel every weekend, WazirX has also invested heavily in campus outreach programmes across top-tier institutes in India. The WazirX Warriors Programme educates the masses through expert representatives, whereas young professionals and students are trained through collaborations with ed-tech start-ups under the Education Partner Programme.
Foreseeing strong growth, WazirX has planned big moves in 2021 and will focus on raising awareness among even more Indians and taking the crypto revolution to them. The exchange also plans to add more features to make users’ trading experience seamless. In the same vein, WazirX also recently launched one of India’s first marketplace for Non-Fungible Tokens, a god-sent for Indian artists. It will undoubtedly pave the way for seamless exchange of digital assets and intellectual properties, and gives India creators a great boost in terms of auctioning their digital assets while earning royalty thereafter.
For an entity that was established just years ago, capturing the largest market share in India is no mean feat. The youth is flocking towards cryptocurrency as a viable investment option, and WazirX has opened the gateway to enabling Bitcoin to become accessible and mainstream, especially among millennials. The convenience that WazirX offers, along with the scope of freedom that crypto offers, amid global market uncertainty, makes it a viable investment class for the youth of India.
Since its inception, WazirX has strived to be at the forefront of innovation and has worked towards empowering their customers with value-added offerings. WazirX has not only been instrumental in making cryptocurrency accessible to the masses, but has also been pivotal in shaping crypto regulations in India, which opens up a lot of doors when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrency in India. With WazirX focusing on making the trading process even more seamless, the future is bright not just for cryptocurrency but also for WazirX.