Last week, Coinbase announced plans to expand to India, even as the country pursues one of the world's most stringent regulatory crackdowns on crypto. The U.S. exchange wrote in a blog post it will establish a "business presence in India ... housing some IT services, including engineering, software development and customer support." Coinbase also expressed an intention to open an office in Hyderabad "as COVID-related conditions allow."
The unexpected expansion comes as crypto grapples with uncertainty in the country since the Indian government plans to introduce a bill that would ban crypto outright. The environment is volatile because various government officials hold different views on how far the legislation could go. Recent reports claim India is also considering blocking IP addresses of firms that trade crypto. Even if India does ban crypto, Coinbase's operations would not be impacted, as it attempts to expand customer service to response to surging demand from clients.
Here is the rest of the week in review:
Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), said cryptocurrencies are used to evade laws and should be regulated more. He told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche in an interview Wednesday that many digital coins are used to "do some arbitrage, or to circumvent some regulations," noting that laws against money laundering and the financing of terrorism are "absent in many applications of some cyber currencies." Carstens added that he believes cryptos are being used as a "speculative vehicle" but does not predict them to be a threat to central banks and the financial system, explaining that no coins have made progress on "working as money." He conceded that stablecoins have some limited applications for very specific purposes but do not pose a challenge to fiat currency. Castens concluded by warning that stablecoins like Facebook's
Blockchain.com said Wednesday it raised $300 million to reach a $5.2 billion post-money valuation, one month after a $120 million dollar financing round. The Series C funding round comes as the London-based crypto firm reported 31 million verified users across 200 countries. Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith said the company has been able to raise $1.5 billion since its founding as institutional interest continues to grow: "And when they see a business like ours that's profitable on both the consumer basis as well as on the institutional basis as well as profitable overall they want to be a part of that growth story." The company initially offered a block explorer for users to view public transactions, but later it launched other financial services like credit and structured products. Blockchain.com now boasts another $300 million to invest in its offerings, but Smith is also considering following competitor Coinbase to a public debut.
Crypto prices traded flat to $1.773 trillion this week. For the majors, Uniswap (UNI) and Polkadot (DOT) tumbled, while THETA and XRP posted outsized gains. In the top 100, the biggest losers were SushiSwap (SUSHI), down 18%, Terra (LUNA), down 15%, and Synthetix (SNX), down 14%. The biggest gainers were Storj (STORJ), up a whopping 271%, Ankr (ANKR), up 136%, and PancakeSwap (CAKE), up 60%. Next week traders will see which direction the market goes.
- 1. https://blog.coinbase.com/coinbase-is-now-hiring-in-india-23d02803568
- 2. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/24/cryptocurrencies-should-be-regulated-says-boss-of-central-bank-group.html
- 3. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coinbase-competitor-blockchaincom-raises-300-million-in-crypto-funding-frenzy-203955653.html