Mumbai: Bain Capital Ventures, the startup investment arm of US-based private equity fund Bain Capital, has invested an undisclosed amount in cryptocurrency trading platform CoinDCX, the startup said on Wednesday. CoinDCX is an aggregator of cryptocurrency trading services. The platform claims to have “versatile financial instruments and deep order books targeting a variety of trading use-cases”.
The startup says it currently has 50,000 users, and processes about a million dollars of average trading volume every day.
According to CoinDCX co-founder Sumit Gupta, the firm will use the funds to scale its technical infrastructure and introduce new products.
It is looking to be a platform that provides investors with a complete set of financial instruments to trade their digital assets.
“That’s why we created CoinDCX,” said Gupta.
“You can margin trade in 200-plus markets with leverage, buy crypto with fiat currencies and, starting soon, even trade in crypto derivatives—all on highly liquid markets,” Gupta added.
The startup plans to invest in decentralized money markets, derivatives markets, blockchain interoperability solutions, crypto exchanges, miners, prime brokers and liquidity aggregators, said Salil Deshpande, managing director, Bain Capital Ventures.
Cryptocurrency startups have been at a nascent stage in India, primarily due to regulatory uncertainties.
While the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are reportedly evaluating new cryptocurrency regulations to legalize it, no concrete steps have been announced yet.
On 25 February, the Supreme Court had issued a directive during a hearing in a case between India’s virtual currency exchanges and the government that the centre should clarify its stance on crypto-currencies.
All financial institutions, including banks, non-bank lenders, digital wallets and others, were prohibited by the RBI, from providing any services to entities dealing with cryptocurrencies in April last year.
The central bank had given lenders three months to end their partnership with cryptocurrency firms.
Several cryptocurrency companies in India, including WazirX, CoinRecoil and Unocoin, were hit by the RBI ban.
Unocoin is backed by prominent early stage investor Blume Ventures, which is currently raising its third fund of $80 million.
WazirX and its rival Zebpay, a virtual-coin exchange platform and mobile wallet, had to shut down their operations due to the central bank’s restrictions on cryptocurrencies.
The prolonged debate on cryptocurrencies was triggered by finance minister Arun Jaitley, who, in his budget speech in February 2018, reiterated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender.
The government would take measures to eliminate the use of crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system, the finance minister had then said.
He had also added that the government is interested in exploring blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies.
Neeraj Khandelwal, co-founder, CoinDCX, said: “In the meantime, we are striving to build secure, professional and scalable crypto products for the masses. With cryptocurrency regulations around the corner and increasingly positive sentiments across the community, it is undoubtedly a great time to be in crypto.”
Bain Capital Ventures has invested in over 100 startups globally, primarily in the US, including professional social network LinkedIn and surveying platform Survey Monkey.