The atmosphere in the Crypto world of India is both optimistic and fearful.
Optimistic for the Supreme Court hearing against RBI’s decision scheduled on July 3. Also, optimistic for regulations as the DEA secretary announced they are close to making a decision on cryptocurrency.
Fearful because despite all of these developments, the RBI’s deadline for banks to unwind relationship with exchanges is still in place. The supposed date for the withdrawal of support from banks is July 5.
The cryptocurrency exchanges on the other hand are not the ones to back down. As July 5 comes closer, the exchanges have slowly started to reveal their plan B, a contingency plan to keep operating despite RBI’s decree.
Here’s a list of Plan B made by crypto exchanges to keep operating for Indian traders.
Crypto Exchanges Contingency Plans
From Peer to Peer exchanges to crypto-to-crypto trading with stable coins, the exchanges are gearing up to keep operating in the sub-continent.
#1 – Peer to Peer Exchanges
We made a list of Peer to Peer exchanges that could be alternative to trading if Indian exchanges were to stop INR based trading. In a surprise move however, a couple of Indian exchanges announced Peer to Peer trading platforms of their own.
Peer to Peer exchanges can escape RBI’s purview as they do not handle INR. In a P2P exchange, one trader transacts with another trader directly without a middleman. It means a buyer will send money directly to a seller and not via an exchange. A P2P exchange can charge transaction fees for providing the service.
Koinex made an official announcement about their new product ‘Loop’. Loop will allow traders on Koinex to buy and sell cryptocurrency with other Koinex users directly without exchange’s intervention. Loop will be a peer to peer platform integrated with Koinex’s crypto to crypto trading platform to allow users to trade with INR.
The crypto funds on Loop will be secured by an escrow mechanism and there will be a dispute handling process in place as well. Koinex will be charging no network or transaction fees to allow micro transactions.
Loop will be available tentatively from this weekend.
Another exchange to launch its own P2P model is WazirX. The exchange announced the launch of P2P exchange as ‘most legal way’ to trade crypto with INR.
WazirX’s P2P model doesn’t look different than many others. If you are a buyer, looking for a seller, the peer to peer exchange can connect the two of you. WazirX holds the crypto funds in escrow while the buyer transfers the money to the seller. Once seller confirms, WazirX releases the crypto.
Once again, WazirX has to have a dispute handling process in place. The Peer to peer exchange will launch after RBI’s ban comes in effect. It will not launch if something positive turns up before that.
Incumbents – Giottus and Instashift
We can’t exactly call it as plan B for Giottus and Instashift as they launched before the RBI’s announcement. However, both the exchanges are doubling down on efforts to improve the Peer to peer experience for traders on their platform.
Giottus has a Spot exchange along with the P2P exchange and Instashift is going global with a Canada Market launch. Giottus’s announcement says they will continue to operate the spot exchange until July 5 and Peer to Peer exchange will keep running after that.
Instashift is continually listing new coins and tokens on their P2P platform and will not be stopping operations after July 5. Also Instashift is registered in Estonia, hence there will be no jurisdiction in India on them.
At the stroke of midnight on July 3, Coindelta announced the launch of a new Peer to Peer trading platform called ‘Flux’. Just like Koinex and Wazirx’s P2P exchange, this will be integrated with the existing exchange for a seemless end to end experience.
Anti – P2P
Crypto exchange Bitbns in their announcement said “We do not believe a direct P2P flow is the right way to go”, adding to that they suggested no plans for a crypto to crypto exchange as well, but that might change, will get there in a minute.
#2 – Crypto to Crypto Exchange
What do you do when they say you can’t trade with Fiat? You start trading with crypto.
Exchanges like Koinex, Zebpay, Coindelta, Coindcx, WazirX, Coinome and KoinOK have already launched Crypto to Crypto exchange. Currently these exchanges except Coindcx are all running their INR markets as well. Once the RBI deadline arrives, the INR markets are likely to be shut down and only crypto to crypto markets will be live for trading.
KoinOK is the latest exchange to launch a crypto to crypto market with BTC.
#3 – Stable Coin Markets
We have seen a couple of experiments in listing a stable coin in India. One is DAI listed by Coindelta and anothe one is USDT listed by Bitbns. USDT is highly popular across the world for trading. Both DAI and USDT have value equal to a US Dollar.
It will not be a surprise if Bitbns launches a USDT based market and Coindelta launches a DAI based market. Both these exchange are yet to make any official announcement on their plan B. In Bitbns’s interim announcement I mentioned earlier, they do not plan to go the crypto to crypto route, but a USDT route may seem to be on cards.
Currently no other Indian exchange has listed a stable coin yet. But the future with stable coin markets in India cannot be ruled out.
Update on July 4: Coindelta announced a USDT-Crypto trading market today.
#4 – Aggregator Exchanges
If the end goal of a user is to convert a certain cryptocurrency into another one without spending much time, an aggregator exchange can come in handy. An aggregator exchange like Coinswitch in India can offer conversion of your cryptocurrency from one coin to another based on the exchange rates of any other exchange of your choice.
Coinswitch offers limited options for India right now but they will soon expand to offer conversion services using exchange rates of bigger exchanges like Binance and Bittrex to Indian traders.
Similarly more exchanges like CoinDCX which uses Binance orderbooks can partner with other bigger exchanges to offer conversion services from any exchange of the user’s choice. Another upcoming exchange planning to go this route is Alluma.io
There are over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges in India and only a handful of them have released their contingency plans. We will update the article when more exchanges announce their plan B.
What do you think about these exchange decisions? Let us know in the comments below