CoinSwitch Launches Web3 Venture Fund for Early-Stage Indian Startups

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CoinSwitch Launches Web3 Venture Fund for Early-Stage Indian Startups

Indian cryptocurrency investing platform CoinSwitch has announced the opening of a Web3 Discovery Fund as part of its corporate venture capital program.

As part of the initiative, early-stage entrepreneurs developing blockchain solutions for the Web3 landscape will get investment from the fund.

CoinSwitch fund will invest in and incubate Web3 startups

“The Web3 Discovery Fund will curate portfolio startups and provide single-window access to marquee investor partners,” the company said in a press release.

The CoinSwitch Web3 Discovery Fund plans to be an AWS Activate Provider for Web3 startups with access to CoinSwitch’s in-house capabilities, ecosystem network, and a user base of around 18 million.

Ashish Singhal, Co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch said: “The venture program is a result of our firm belief that India will be the launchpad for population-scale Web3 projects. To realize this vision of #MadeinIndia Web3, we have to identify and enable entrepreneurs and early-stage startups leveraging the potential of Crypto to solve real-world problems unique to India.”

The announcement, however, comes as the government and its agencies are stepping up their supervision of the sector with no end in sight to crypto’s regulatory troubles yet.

Regulations expected to end uncertainty

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently froze bank assets worth over $8 million of one of the directors of Zanmai Lab, the operator of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX.

And given the uncertainty surrounding WazirX’s future after Binance – the exchange’s purported parent company – decided to side with the authorities, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBIC) is reportedly drafting regulations for crypto assets.

Official sources told Business Today that the applicability of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on virtual digital assets is a current area of focus for the CBIC, with discussions still in the early stage.

#WazirX and Binance issue is exactly the reason why the industry has been advocating for regulations from day-1?

🔸License to run a crypto exchange in 🇮🇳?
🔸Can foreign exchange operate in 🇮🇳?
🔸FDI limit in 🇮🇳 crypto exchanges?
🔸KYC data storage norms?
🔸CeFi allowed or not?

— Kashif Raza (@simplykashif) August 6, 2022

“RBI has been of the view that it (crypto) should be prohibited, and investors were warned of the risks,” reported Business Today.

The country’s stance on cryptocurrency depends on what other countries plan to do as part of an international initiative, with no substantial announcement in the front so far.

Web3 funding accelerates month-on-month

In addition to regulatory uncertainty, the crypto market downturn was also expected to slow down the funding for the startup ecosystem. However, despite an extremely difficult May for deals, funding for decentralized finance (DeFi) increased in June, according to reports by crypto analytics firms Messari and Dove Metrics.

A total of 1,199 investment rounds equaling $30.3 billion were conducted in the sector globally in the first half of 2022. The non-fungible token (NFT) gaming industry raised a whooping $4 billion, while centralized finance (CeFi) brought in $10.3 billion in the first six months of the year.

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