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Malta-based Binance acquires Indian crypto exchange WazirX

Image: Binance

Thu, 21 Nov 2019, 10:14 am UTC

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired Indian bitcoin exchange WazirX, allowing Indian users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies through the Binance Fiat Gateway.

Sources with knowledge of the acquisition deal told The Times of India the transaction was estimated at around $5 to $10 million.

With this acquisition, Binance will integrate WazirX’s auto-matching engine with its fiat gateway platform in the first quarter of 2020, improving access to cryptocurrencies for Indian users. According to the official release:

“Users on Binance.com will be able to directly place orders on Binance.com and the Binance iOS or Android app to purchase Tether (USDT) against INR. This integration will allow users to trade any digital asset available on Binance.com with the purchase of USDT from the WazirX digital asset marketplace.”

India to benefit from young demographic

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the young demographic of India gives the country an edge to build and adopt new financial technologies, positioning it as a global blockchain innovation hub and spurring cryptocurrency adoption.

"The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money,” he said.

The release also hinted at an upcoming token sale of the native WazirX token (WRX), which is currently available to the community through trade mining and signups. Around 64,000 users hold WRX.

Echoing similar views, Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO, said that the next wave of crypto mass adoption will arise from developing nations around the world.

“India with more than a billion people is primed for massive crypto adoption and this acquisition by Binance gives us the opportunity to not only cater to India but every developing nation where fiat on-ramps have to be built. The acquisition is yet another step towards achieving our shared mission with Binance of decentralizing the world,” he added.

Binance fiat-to-crypto gateways

The acquisition follows the recent launch of Binance’s fiat-to-crypto gateway for Turkey. The exchange has also launched fiat-to-crypto gateways for Africa and Russia. Binance is partnering with a number of firms in order to provide easy access and more options throughout regions for the purchase of cryptocurrency with fiat in a fast and secure manner.

Binance has also been active in the Indian blockchain space. Its investment arm Binance Labs has backed Martin Protocol’s $3 million seed round, while another startup Matic Network successfully fundraised via the blockchain on Binance Launchpad. In addition, Binance X is also working to stimulate blockchain development and support in India and recently held an event in Bengaluru to invite participation for its fellowship program.

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