CEO of crypto exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao (aka “CZ”) isn’t seeing much potential for crypto-related business in India.

By weight of its huge, youthful and tech-loving population, India is often regarded as an untapped world market for cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related businesses. Despite that, some of the brightest minds in the industry have emerged from the sub-continent, including the Mumbai-originated Polygon (MATIC) founders Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal and Anurag Arjun.

“To be honest, I don’t think India is a very crypto-friendly environment,” said the influential CZ at a recent TechCrunch crypto conference.

The CEO of the world’s biggest crypto exchange also narrowed in on the harsh crypto-tax regime that India put into place earlier this year. The country taxes crypto income at 30% and crypto transactions are subject to a 1% tax deduction at the source.

Zhao is particularly discouraged by the crypto tax regime that the government of India implemented earlier this year. In addition to taxing crypto income at 30%, crypto transactions are subject to a 1% tax deduction at the source (TDS).

“If you are going to tax 1% on each transaction, there is not going to be that many transactions,” said CZ, adding:

“A user could trade 50 times a day and they will lose like 70% of their money. There is not going to be any volume for an order book type of exchange. So we don’t see a viable business in India today.”


Crypto regulations – any time soon?

The Indian government recently indicated that it hopes to establish a regulatory framework for crypto in participation with other G20 member countries.

“We would definitely want to collate all this and do a bit of study and then bring it on to the table of the G20 so that members can discuss it and hopefully arrive at a framework or SOP, so that globally, countries can have a technology-driven regulatory framework,” said finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in October.

For it’s part, the Australian Treasury recently announced it has plans to introduce crypto exchange and custodial regulations to parliament next year.

Meanwhile, also coming in the wake of the FTX exchange implosion and market-roiling fallout, the Biden administration has indicated it plans to step up its game on establishing crypto regulations. About time, really, although who knows how long it’ll take them from here.