A few days ago, I tried to put forth a simplified explanation of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. So before we dive deeper into what our fintech platform for the day: ZebPay, I would strongly recommend you to give it a read, if you haven’t already. We all have come across some platforms that solve a genuine problem, but are ahead of their time. For example, there was an app called Dubsmash, when I was in the college. If you haven’t heard about it, I don’t blame you. This application was a subset of what Tiktok, Chingari, Josh etc. can do today. It was the first step towards the infamous cringe we have to go through today. However, Internet in India was still at a nascent stage at that time.
We would feel like the kings of the world after getting a 1GB recharge for Rs. 255 and that was more than enough for us. Before Jio happened and changed everything, Dubsmash somehow got lost in the crowd. Why am I sharing this here? Because today’s platform ZebPay has a similar story. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump in.
ZebPay is an European Company. It is headquartered in Singapore. The company entered India in 2014 when we were still grappling with the concept of cryptocurrency. It proudly centers it’s marketing promotions around the fact that 2/3rd Indians invested for the first time in Bitcoin using their platform.
They came up with their mobile application in 2015 and hit a volume of $1bn in trades by 2017.
This record was soon broken again a few months later when the company hit $2bn in trade volume in April 2018.
With the launch in India in 2015, company had acquired about 15 Lakh customers till 2018. Everything was going the right way until…
Starting Friday 4 p.m., we are cancelling all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and will be crediting the coins or tokens back to the users’ wallets.A Blogpost on ZebPay
This happened because just five months before this incident, RBI had put a ban on banks, non-bank lenders and mobile wallets from allowing payments for virtual currency.
“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we’re unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business.”
The story, although ended for India, continued to thrive for ZebPay in other parts of the world. They launched in Australia in 2019 and Singapore in 2020.
Soon after that, on 4th March, 2020, Supreme Court of India also decided to lift ban it had imposed on the trade of cryptocurrencies.
As an article from YourStory quotes:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed dealing in cryptocurrency, rejecting an earlier order by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that banned trading of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in the country. In a landmark judgment, the country’s highest court said the RBI order was “unconstitutional”. A three-judge bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, Aniruddha Bose, and V Ramasubramanian pronounced the judgment.
With that news, ZebPay also geared up to relaunch itself in India. As mentioned in one of their blogposts:
“A new decade saw the return of ZebPay to its home turf- India. With a new leadership team, no-fee trading on select pairs, an upgraded focus on security and innovation, and a passive income and borrowing program on the horizon—we’ve got a vision to become one of the most innovative blockchain service companies in the world.”
CEO Rahul Pagidipati, who took over the leadership and majority ownership of ZebPay in January, tells YourStory,
“Bitcoin was born during the 2008 economic crisis so people could store wealth in a decentralised manner. Similarly, investors today want to keep their money safe from inflation, and make it easily accessible. All these factors have led to the boom in crypto trading post COVID-19.”
Just like any other trading platform, ZebPay also offers features like
- Trading portals, where one can buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the open market.
- Wallets, which enable peer to peer sending and receiving of crypto.
With rumors around a permanent ban again popping up, the crypto ecosystem in India remains a cause of concern. What does Finance Ministry and RBI have in mind? Only time will time. Until then, are you planning to diversify your portfolio?
Until Next Time. . .
This blogpost is in association with Blogchatter’s #BlogchatterA2ZChallenge.