By Nupur Anand
MUMBAI (Reuters) – Singapore-based virtual currency exchange Coinstore has begun operations in India at a time when the Indian government is preparing legislation to effectively bar most private cryptocurrencies.
“With nearly a quarter of our total active users coming from India, it made sense for us to expand into the market,” Charles Tan, head of marketing at Coinstore told Reuters.
Asked why Coinstore was launching India despite the pending clampdown on cryptocurrencies, Tan said: “There have been policy flip-flops but we hope things are going to be positive and we are optimistic that the Indian government will come out with a healthy framework for cryptocurrencies.”
It has said that it will allow only certain cryptocurrencies to promote the underlying technology and its uses, according to a legislative agenda for the winter session that is set to start later this month.
The price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has more than doubled since the start of this year, attracting hordes of Indian investors.
Coinstore also plans to expand into Japan, Korea, Indonesian and Vietnam, according to Tan.
($1 = 75.0400 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Nupur Anand; Editng by Mark Heinrich)