When crypto startupCo-founder Shivam Thakral was nonetheless a scholar at Harcourt Butler Technical College in Kanpur again in 2015, he would typically take up freelance web site growth assignments from abroad purchasers. In the future, that very same 12 months, a consumer requested him if he accepted cost in Bitcoin.
Unaware what that meant on the time, Shivam regarded it up and realised he might settle for Bitcoin from the consumer and liquidate it to obtain INR in his Indian checking account. He agreed to simply accept his cost in Bitcoin, and shortly sufficient, Shivam obtained the cost in beneath six hours — a lot sooner than the five-to-seven day time interval taken for abroad cost transactions in fiat forex.
The engineer additionally realised that there weren’t many Indian firms working actively within the crypto house.
This impressed him to start out and construct bootstrapped crypto startup BuyUCoin —India’s first multi-cryptocurrency alternate, based mostly in Delhi-NCR, the place retailers and customers can simply transact in — purchase, promote and commerce — or retailer Bitcoin, and a number of other altcoins reminiscent of Ethereum, Ripple, and others.
In simply 9 days, Shivam constructed a “primary web site” the place customers can purchase and promote Bitcoin. Utilizing this web site as his minimal viable product, Shivam approached a number of of his engineering school batchmates. Two of them – Devesh Aggrawal and Atulya B – confirmed essentially the most curiosity, and collectively, they co- based BuyUCoin in 2016 whereas nonetheless in school.
BuyUCoin cofounders (from L to R) Shivam Thakral, Atulya B and Devesh Aggrawal
Elaborating on what their journey has been like and the market alternative going ahead, Shivam advised YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma,
“Prior to now 5 years, we’ve seen excessive highs and lows in our journey – from the highs of the 2017 crypto bull-run to the lows of the interval following the RBI ban on crypto buying and selling to the more moderen Supreme Court docket ruling lifting the ban. So this business is right here to outlive, will constantly evolve, and change into the following identify within the monetary business.”
The BuyUCoin workforce
Simplicity – the important thing differentiator
5 years since its launch, BuyUCoin is right this moment among the many main Indian crypto exchanges with over a million merchants and holders investing in over 130 cryptocurrency pairs reminiscent of BTC-INR, ETH-INR, and DOGE-INR, amongst others.
However the trio confronted challenges within the preliminary years when constructing the product because the market in India was nonetheless in its nascent stage, with no actual playbooks to show to.
Co-founder and CTO Devesh, who constructed the platform from Shivam’s web site, says, “Now, constructing a crypto alternate appears straightforward. However after we began, we discovered it difficult to accomplice with service suppliers and needed to construct the platform ourselves with no workforce and no steering. Till 2018, we had no cost channels, and needed to depend on direct financial institution transfers.”
Nonetheless, BuyUCoin co-founders labored early on to provide you with differentiators of their product. The highest precedence for them was guaranteeing simplicity, so customers can simply purchase, promote, handle or retailer their cryptocurrencies on a platform that’s intuitive and safe.
“Some Indian exchanges copied world exchanges when it comes to displaying traders the real-time order guide. However we needed to maintain our interface easy and intuitive by not displaying customers the order guide. Reasonably, we confirmed a single price at which an investor might purchase a specific cryptocurrency, and the consumer might merely make the transaction on the click on of a button,” Shivam explains.
By March 2018, the characteristic helped BuyUCoin add two lakh customers, and observing this traction, different exchanges started to introduce such a characteristic too, the founders declare.
Income mannequin and scalability
BuyUCoin’s income mannequin contains two channels —percentage-wise commissions on transactions and margins on fast and simple trades.
“The primary one is frequent throughout exchanges. We earn fee on transactions from consumers and sellers. The second entails a small margin on transactions on our OTC platform for cryptocurrency trades, and the dealer is proven the ultimate transaction quantity inclusive of our margins. 80 p.c of our traction comes from this second channel,” Shivam explains.
The BuyUCoin cell interface
BuyUCoin’s OTC platform permits traders and merchants with giant trades outdoors the vary of open order books to purchase and promote crypto. Its OTC Desk permits high-volume trades with straightforward, fast, and secure settlements, and the startup’s OTC brokers present extremely customised companies to their customers.
In anticipation of a surge in buying and selling volumes, which have up to now triggered crypto exchanges to crash, BuyUCoin is scaling its techniques in addition to its help techniques for customer support.
“To construct a scalable crypto alternate that by no means crashes, our help techniques additionally need to be scalable. So we set processes that enable our help and operations groups to perform easily alongside the alternate. We’re additionally constructing a self-help system the place prospects can use their transaction IDs to examine the standing of their deposits and withdrawals themselves with out elevating a ticket,” Devesh provides.
Progress amidst regulatory uncertainty
BuyUCoin is enjoying in an Indian crypto business rejuvenated by a recent RBI clarification that its 2018 round stopping banks from dealing in “digital currencies” is invalid and can’t be cited anymore after it was set aside by the Supreme Court in 2020.
The cryptocurrency business welcomed this assertion from the RBI and seen it as an approval on using financial institution accounts for such transactions.
“Earlier, banks used to indicate us the 2018 round regardless that it was put aside. This made it tough to work with them. Now, with the latest clarification, we’re assured when speaking to banks. Nonetheless, we don’t take care of banks instantly for consumer deposits and withdrawals. As a substitute, we accomplice with cost gateways, aggregators and processors who deal instantly with banks. Mobikwik is one such instance.”
Final 12 months, BuyUCoin introduced it was coming into right into a partnership with Mobikwik to combine the fintech startup’s cost gateway service with the crypto alternate platform to have Mobikwik as a cost choice. This implies, Mobikwik’s customers are additionally capable of instantly purchase cryptocurrencies on BuyUCoin utilizing Mobikwik pockets cash.
Nonetheless, regardless of the latest RBI clarification, there isn’t a readability but on whether or not the RBI has authorized the functioning of cryptocurrency (the legislative invoice titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Foreign money Invoice, 2021,” continues to be pending within the Parliament).
Nonetheless, blockchain innovation and crypto buying and selling is slowly changing into mainstream in India, and exchanges like BuyUCoin, WazirX, CoinDCX and others are poised to capitalise on the inflow of recent traders and merchants.