• India is witnessing the biggest relative growth in Web3 development: reports
  • Growth of Web3 developers in India will happen despite regulatory uncertainty: Rohit Jain
  • CoinDCX announced the launch of its investment initiative CoinDCX Ventures

Even as regulatory uncertainty continues to cloud India’s cryptocurrency industry, a top industry insider said the country is on track to have the most number of Web3 developers in a year or so.

CoinDCX Ventures Managing Director Rohit Jain said India will have the largest or second-largest crypto retail consumer base soon — despite the central bank of the country frowning on crypto and tax actions and pronouncements from the government that are extremely discouraging for the community.

CoinDCX is one of the leading crypto exchanges in India. Established in 2018, CoinDCX has provided the community with investing and trading solutions for crypto-based financial products for retail, high net-worth and enterprise customers.

A recent report by Electric Capital revealed that India is witnessing the biggest relative growth in Web3 development compared to other economies including the U.S., Germany, UK, France, Russia and Poland.

The number of Web3 developers who reported their locations increased the most in India and Russia, rising to 5.3% and 4.3% of the market share, respectively.

Another report showed that the crypto market size in India increased 39% from $53.1 million in FY2020 to $74.2 million in FY2021.

Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web, based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics.

Rohit Jain- CoinDCX Ventures
“We have the most number of DeFi (decentralized finance) users in the world ... we believe with regulatory certainty and with more clarity, there's a possibility we could be the largest or second-largest retail crypto base in the world, which presents a very unique opportunity for India.” — Rohit Jain of CoinDCX Ventures. CoinDCX

“We don't have the most number of Web3 developers but this has seen a trend change even over the last six months when not only the quantity but the quality of Web3 developers who were very deep in the blockchain and crypto space has been improving by leaps and bounds,” Jain told International Business Times in an interview. “So, I fundamentally believe that India will have the most number of Web3 developers and the most number of Web3 consumers in the world over a period of 12-16 months. And both these things coming together create a very powerful mix.” Jain said the growth of Web3 developers in the country will happen despite the regulatory uncertainty.

“We have the most number of DeFi (decentralized finance) users in the world ... we believe with regulatory certainty and with more clarity, there's a possibility we could be the largest or second-largest retail crypto base in the world, which presents a very unique opportunity for India,” he said.

The Indian government introduced steep taxes on digital assets in its annual budget in February, which led to some optimism in the industry that it is on a path to regulation and clarity. But Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman then said the tax doesn’t mean the industry has been legalized, roiling the industry and dampening sentiment.

Jain said a crypto ban is out of the question and the discussion currently is more about how to regulate the space. He said Web3 entrepreneurs in India should take a “long-term point of view” and should be “very quick in terms of innovation” to stay as the space evolves.

Last month, CoinDCX announced the launch of CoinDCX Ventures, an investment initiative that will fund early-stage crypto and blockchain startups. Jain was made senior vice president and head of ventures and investments to lead CoinDCX Ventures.

The platform will focus on the Web3 ecosystem in India and globally, and plans to invest about $12 million in startups over the next 12 months.

'Muted' impact from regulatory uncertainty

Sharat Chandra, vice president for research & strategy at EarthID, backed Jain’s views and said Web3 developers building tools and services for the infrastructure layer aren't inhibited by geographical boundaries. He added that regulatory uncertainty and taxes will only have a “muted” impact on builders and creators building innovative solutions for the Web3 economy.

“Crypto exchanges in India have created an enabling ecosystem for the Web3.0 era by offering funding, advisory support and forging alliances with educational bodies to build the talent pool to cater to Web3.0 development,” Chandra said.

Hitesh Malviya, the founder of venture capital firm IBC Capital, pointed out that several Web3 entrepreneurs are operating from India but are registering their offices where there is a more favourable regulatory environment for business, either in Dubai or other countries with more regulatory clarity.

“They are afraid to register from here because the regulatory clarity is not there yet and the taxation is very high,” Malviya said.

Raj Kapoor, founder of India Blockchain Alliance, said there is a lack of awareness about blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the country, which has not been addressed yet but and the country is already jumping on to training Web3 professionals, which “needs to be turned right on its head.”

“Our education system is broken and most institutes are lagging when it comes to being in sync with industry 4.0. The academia-industry gap needs to be bridged. Web 3.0 is the future and needs to be part of our curriculum. Add the entrepreneurship edge to this and we have a steady stream of industry-ready resources for future jobs and startups,” Kapoor said.

Kapoor added that CoinDCX could be a frontrunner in incubating the Web 3.0 work brigade.

On the whole, the industry expects the Indian government to continue to support Web3 development even if it may think of banning cryptocurrencies.

Crypto ban or not, blockchain is the real deal and Web 3.0 powered on the blockchain is the future of the internet,” Kapoor said.