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

Indian crypto veterans Nischal Shetty and Avinash Shekhar have launched their new crypto-INR perpetual futures exchange dubbed ‘Pi42.’

WazirX founder Shetty and erstwhile CEO of Zebpay Shakhar said that the new venture would be one of the most legally compliant exchanges in India. The exchange aligns with the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) guidelines, a local media report noted.

Pi42 will allow over 30 million crypto investors in India to engage in derivatives trading in their local currency.

“The current spot market for crypto in India involves around 30 to 35 million people,” Shetty tole the publication. “Approximately 20% to 25% of this, or 7 to 10 million people, are seen as potential candidates for futures trading.”

Further, Pi42 has also applied for the approval of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an organization under the Department of Revenue.

“Recent regulatory actions by FIU against unregistered individuals have created a demand for compliant alternatives, and we aim to provide this option for crypto futures trading.”

India Still Holds 1% TDS on Cryptos

Per blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index, India stands at the forefront in grassroots crypto adoption.

Despite the high crypto adoption rates, Indian investors struggle to cope with the country’s tax regime and regulatory environment. India currently taxes crypto gains at 30% and also deducts 1% at the source.

As a result, the report noted that many Indian users turn to international crypto exchanges.

“I think the very important thing is also with futures trade you do not need to worry about the 1% TDS,” stressed Shetty. “The TDS has affected almost every day trader and this is a great alternative for them.”

Pi42 has already launched its beta version of its website and Android app. Additionally, the platform is also looking to facilitate instant withdrawals in the coming weeks, noted Shekhar.

Nischal Shetty will head the growth strategy of the firm, while Avinash Shekhar will manage finance, regulatory compliance and operations.

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

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