Despite regulatory uncertainty in a bear market, Johnny Lyu, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, is betting big on India. “India is a key market for KuCoin. We saw approximately 5.6 million new users in the first half of 2022, up to 659% growth, and a large portion of these new users were Indian. Indian users have increased by 1251% compared to the same period last year in 2021,” Lyu told indianexpress.com.
It should be noted that Indian crypto companies are moving their base from India to Dubai and Singapore as cryptocurrency exchanges face an uncertain future in the country. This comes as the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. plunge in extreme market conditions.
However, Lyu is eyeing India for the simple reason that the market is welcoming and “full of talent”. “Regardless of the current situation, as a trading platform which is about to turn five years old, we are looking to the future. I believe that with future investments and building infrastructure of KuCoin in the market India, the growth of the Indian market is worth looking forward to,” he said.
Already two years ago, KuCoin launched a $50 million support package to boost the development of the Indian blockchain industry. “We recruited locals and established communities in India. And we are actively carrying out in-depth cooperation with local crypto companies, such as the largest local crypto exchange Bitbns, and even projects like Chingari“, he told indianexpress.com.
Since the implementation of the crypto-tax (TDS) on July 1, Indian exchanges have experienced low transaction volumes, and one speculation was that consumers were increasingly joining foreign exchanges to evade taxes. According to Lyu, this is a false assumption. “We have not seen any significant increase in the number of Indian users over the past two months.” Nonetheless, Lyu is positive on crypto taxation in India. He thinks taxing crypto profits is a sign the country is ready to regulate cryptocurrency
Lyu debunked some widely held rumors among crypto enthusiasts and investors. With forums on Reddit, tweets and even analysts claiming that KuCoin will perish like crypto firms Celsius and Vauld because it has no “asset backing”. “After the rumors started on July 2, we saw an increase in withdrawals and deposits. Users have attempted to withdraw their assets under the influence of rumors and again this can happen to any platform. But after finding out that everything was working normally, they deposited their assets,” Lyu noted, adding that since the market has gone through a few bull and bear market cycles, “it is natural that people are more sensitive to this kind of environment. Unlike other exchanges where most fees come from trading altcoins, he said, “…as a crypto exchange, our main source of income is trading fees, not earnings. from trading altcoins.”
Recently, crypto exchanges have seen a flurry of fire with Coinbase, Vauld and even Celsius Network dismiss staff. Nevertheless, Lyu claimed that KuCoin is in the expansion phase and is constantly hiring. “In terms of team pull, KuCoin onboarded 400 talents in the first half, and is recruiting about 300 talents in R&D, marketing, business development and other directions to continue development.”
Lyu said the people behind the rumors should be held accountable for causing havoc in the market. “The accountability mechanism in the era of Web 2.0 is not mature enough, and the cost of spreading rumors is very low,” he said, adding that the issue of traceability and accountability may be solved with the development of Internet 3.0.
The CEO of KuCoin predicted that the ongoing crash in the cryptocurrency market will “push out” weak companies and investors. This will accelerate changes in the whole industry model, and a series of mergers and acquisitions will follow. “Survival of the best is a constant law in any industry, the crypto companies that will come out on top in the market downturn are those that innovate new technologies.”