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India’s WazirX, Zebpay CEOs Collaborate to Debut New Crypto Venture

Indian cryptocurrency pioneers Nischal Shetty and Avinash Shekhar have introduced their latest venture, the crypto-INR perpetual futures exchange named ‘Pi42.’

Shetty, the founder of WazirX, and Shekhar, former CEO of Zebpay, emphasized that Pi42 would stand out as one of India’s most legally compliant exchanges. According to a report from local media, the exchange is in line with the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) guidelines.

Pi42 aims to enable more than 30 million crypto investors in India to participate in derivatives trading using their native currency.

Shetty explained, “The current crypto spot market in India involves approximately 30 to 35 million individuals. Around 20% to 25% of this demographic, roughly 7 to 10 million people, are considered potential candidates for futures trading.”

Moreover, Pi42 has sought approval from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an entity under the Department of Revenue.

Shekhar elaborated, “Recent regulatory actions by FIU against unregistered individuals have spurred a demand for compliant alternatives. We aspire to offer such an option for crypto futures trading.”

India Still Holds 1% TDS on Cryptos

According to the 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis, India leads in grassroots crypto adoption.

Despite this high adoption rate, Indian investors face challenges navigating the country’s tax regulations and regulatory landscape. Currently, India imposes a 30% tax on crypto gains and also levies a 1% deduction at the source.

Consequently, many Indian users resort to international crypto exchanges to circumvent these issues.

“The significant advantage with futures trading is the exemption from the 1% TDS,” emphasized Shetty. “This TDS has impacted almost every day trader, making this a favorable alternative for them.”

Pi42 has already rolled out the beta version of its website and Android app. Additionally, the platform plans to introduce instant withdrawals in the coming weeks, as highlighted by Shekhar.

Nischal Shetty will spearhead the firm’s growth strategy, while Avinash Shekhar will oversee finance, regulatory compliance, and operations.

According to the exchange’s website, it currently supports five tokens, including Bitcoin, Ether, Solana, MATIC, and XRP. Furthermore, retail investors will have access to the crypto market with leverage of up to 20% and no expiry.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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