Sunday, February 5, 2023

India Requires Right Crypto Regulations, Says Coinbase CPO

Its almost been 5 years, since the Government of India announced the demonetization of all Rs.500 and Rs.1000 banknotes of the Mahatama Gandhi Series. The aim behind this announcement was to curtail the shadow economy and reduce the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism. However, the leading market analysts believed that the effort was not much successful in the country.

Demonetization changed the life of many people, overnight, and Surojit Chatterjee, the Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, is one of them. That event made him think whether cryptos would be the future of financial transactions. 

In 2016, Chatterjee was working with Flipkart India, as its Senior Vice President and Head of Product. On November 08, 2016, as Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 banknotes became invalid in India, the Indian e-commerce company started facing challenges because, during that time, Flipkart was largely dependent on the cash-on-delivery mode of payment.

“People like my father who had never used credit or debit cards had to now stand in long queues outside banks to get cash. That is when I started to read up more on cryptocurrencies and bought my first Bitcoin next year,” said Chatterjee.

Presently, the Indian Government is working on a crypto bill and Coinbase’s CPO is hoping that while formulating regulations the cabinet looks after all its merits. 

Experts are believing that the bill will define crypto as an asset class and the profit earn from it would be taxed by the government.

While sharing his views, Chatterjee further stated, “Cryptocurrencies can enable small businesses in India to access a global pool of capital. Also, there is an active community of developers in India now who are creating a lot of value and wealth. If India puts the right regulation and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship in digital finance, India could be the next global financial hub.”

Since their inception, cryptos have got a mix of reactions from the world. Many people have started accepting it, and several others are still skeptical about it. However, Chatterjee believes that people, who are doubtful regarding cryptos, have not yet figured out what digital assets and blockchain technology could offer them.

Although the CPO at Coinbase started investing in cryptocurrencies in 2017, he still believes that before entering into this industry, the individual should do his/her research properly.

He further added, “It is still very early days for crypto. I believe we have built less than one percent in terms of cryptocurrency as a platform. Just look at how the internet shaped up in the early 1990s. People wondered then if it’s already too late to invest in internet companies back then and companies like Facebook, Instagram, Uber etc. were yet to come.”

After demonetization, Chatterjee decided to move back to the US, where he joined Google. Then, in February 2020, Coinbase hired him as the CPO.

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