The Indian crypto industry, on Wednesday, February 7, got a new crypto-INR Futures Exchange called ‘Pi42′. Zebpay CEO Avinash Shekhar and WazirX founder Nischal Shetty have founded this exchange in order to let Indians engage with crypto without having to face one percent TDS on each transaction. The launch of this platform comes two years after the Indian finance ministry levied taxes on crypto activities. Despite an outcry from the community seeking revisions on these tax laws, the government has not taken any action, leading to a stagnation in the sector’s growth.
With crypto futures exchange, investors can predict the future price of crypto assets and trade on those speculative future prices. So unlike in spot trading transactions, where holders trade on the current prices of tokens and pay one percent TDS on each transaction, here holders can keep the assets with them longer – waiting for the asset to reach the speculated price point. This automatically reduces the TDS-related losses.
“Crypto derivatives trading volumes are significantly higher than spot volumes across the globe. Futures trading comes with several advantages for investors such as better liquidity, opportunity to leverage, prospect to earn higher profits, and tax efficiency among others,” Shetty said in an official announcement as the co-founder of Pi42.
In the recent months, India has strengthened its oversight over the Web3 sector. The country is gradually deploying rules to regulate the otherwise volatile sector, aiming to stabilise the industry and curb the margin for the exploitation of these virtual assets. One such mandatory rule for crypto firms is to register with India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
Pi42, as disclosed by its founders, has already been registered with the FIU – which means Indians can start trying it out.
“India is home to one of the world’s largest crypto enthusiast communities and yet we have extremely limited opportunities to explore innovations in crypto such as futures trading. We aim to infuse a new life into the industry for the modern-day investors and help them redefine financial freedom by offering tax-efficient and regulatory compliant trading options,” said Shekhar.
The Pi42 app is first rolling out for Android users in India and will soon be available for iOS users as well. In the coming months, Shetty and Shekhar aim to expand this Futures trading exchange to other international locations as well. The Indian crypto community has faced a slump in growth in the last two years. Industry leaders have blamed the tax system for pushing investors out of the circle. Before the 2024 interim budget was announced earlier this month, ‘#ReduceCryptoTax’ was trending on all major social networking platform.
Despite these urges from the industry, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not even mention the crypto industry in her speech. Industry leaders are now waiting for changes in the finalised budget that will be presented after India’s upcoming election.