Cryptocurrency – most people in India actually use the term bitcoin to refer to this class of asset—is back in focus once again after a two-year lull as the Covid-19 pandemic turned things topsy-turvy across asset classes, forcing investors to explore all kinds of options. In India, while the Supreme Court has quashed an earlier RBI order to pave the way for Indians to use crypto, Economic Times this week reported that a move is afoot in the government now to bring in a bill banning the use of the same, which might again alter the crypto landscape in the country.
Paxful, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, claims to run India’s largest P2P Bitcoin Exchange. The bourse claims to have recorded at least $1 million in weekly volumes in the first 21 weeks of 2020.
So when Paxful CEO and co-founder Ray Youssef spoke to us, we clearly had a lot to ask. Listen in.
Q1. The regulatory scenario in India with regard to crypto currency is still not very clear. When you launch India operations, what are your reading of the market and the regulatory environment?
Q2. There are two schools of thoughts about the crypto as an asset class and as the currency of the future? Many governments and central banks and large financial institutions have opposed it while many others see prospects in it. How have things evolved globally from the mindset perspective and how is the industry trying to remove the misgivings, if there is any?
Q3. Crypto currencies created quite a storm till about two years back and then went into a major slump. They seem to be back in the game now, but the earlier buoyancy is gone. What explains those behaviours and what’s your long-term and short-term outlook from here on?
Q4. As an asset class, how does crypto currency compare with traditional asset classes like gold, real estate or even equity?
Q5. My last question and I would come back to India. How do you visualise the crypto market to unfold in a five-year kind of time frame in India and who do you look at as potential investors?