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In India cryptocurrencies land in physical banks
In India cryptocurrencies land in physical banks
Crypto

In India cryptocurrencies land in physical banks

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 28 Oct 2020

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In an uncertain situation, a courageous bank is ready to offer cryptocurrency services in India in physical branches.

It is Cashaa, which together with United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society will form a joint venture called UNICAS with the aim of being “the world’s first crypto-friendly financial institution with physical branches and operations”.

According to the official note, UNICAS will start its operations in December 2020 and will offer, specifically:

  • Opening of savings accounts equipped with crypto wallets;
  • Loans backed by cryptocurrencies, gold and real estate;
  • Investments in cryptocurrencies, bonds and fixed deposits;
  • Rapid expansion with over 100 branches in 2022;
  • Buy cryptocurrencies with cash in physical branches. 

UNICAS will allow its clients to trade cryptocurrencies not only online, but also in the 22 branches of physical banks in northern India. 

Customers will be able to go to the bank and buy or sell Bitcoin, Cashaa, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin and Ripple.

UNICAS also plans to expand by opening crypto lounges in Delhi and other cities to offer its services to a population of 150 million people

India: cryptocurrencies in banks if regulations allow it

All this could be revolutionary, were it not for the fact that India is ready to ban cryptocurrencies (again), after the previous ban was declared unconstitutional last March. 

That very law prevented Indian banks from offering services related to cryptocurrencies. In fact, it was a huge obstacle to the development of the sector. 

Was everything sidelined? No, because another law to ban cryptocurrency trading in India would be under discussion at the moment. In other words, cryptocurrencies are not finding peace in the country. 

In reality though, Indians seem to like cryptocurrencies a lot, so much so that the OKEx exchange claims to have seen Indian users grow by 545%.

Cashaa seems to want to exploit this interest in cryptocurrencies, even bringing them into the physical branches of the banks. The aim is also to help people learn more about the crypto world. The CEO and Founder of Cashaa, Kumar Gaurav, explains:

“Most Indians are not aware or are misguided about Cryptocurrency as an online product and they tend to trust what they see or what the government recognizes and recommends. Also, India is still largely a cash-based economy despite a Demonetization drive. With UNICAS Crypto lounges we intend to address both issues which are slowing the process of cryptocurrency adoption in India”.

The CEO of UNICAS, Dinesh Kukreja, also Managing Director of United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society, explained:

“This will allow us to build, scale and offer customized financial and crypto products for the local Indian markets”. 

And that’s not all, because UNICAS, in the words of its CEO, wants to grow:

“We are entering into the future of financial services in India. Merging our decade of experience with Indian traditional finance with Cashaa’s international banking experience will bring enormous transformation to both Indian fintech and the crypto industry. We are the first regulated financial institution in the world with physical branches where users can access crypto products. By increasing our exposure to emerging technologies, we are aiming to rapidly expand to over 100 physical branches by 2021, employing thousands of skilled professionals in India”.

 

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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