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Binance Launches $50M 'Blockchain for India' Fund

Binance and WazirX plan to donate up to $50 million to Indian blockchain startups after the Supreme Court lifted a central bank ban on financial services for these firms.

Mar 17, 2020 at 4:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:19 a.m. UTC

Binance and its local subsidiary have set up a $50 million fund to reinvigorate growth in blockchain startups in India following a Supreme Court decision to allow banks to service crypto firms.

Binance and India-based bitcoin exchange WazirX – which Binance acquired in November – announced Tuesday their new "Blockchain for India" fund would incubate and invest in local startups that contribute to the creation of a sophisticated cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem for the subcontinent.

The new fund comes weeks after the Indian Supreme Court lifted a central bank-imposed ban that prevented cryptocurrency businesses from accessing financial services. Some exchanges added support for bank account transfers within hours of the court ruling.

The new Binance-backed fund, which will make investments in both equity and token acquisitions, is especially interested in initiatives that help develop a full crypto market infrastructure for India, according to a press release. That could include fiat gateways, remittance platforms, stablecoin solutions and new applications for decentralized finance (DeFi).

Worth a total of $50 million, the fund will make investments anywhere between $100,000 and $5 million.

Highlighting that India had one of the largest developer and software engineering talent pools in the world, WazirX founder and CEO Nischal Shetty said in a statement the new fund would make full use of the "incredible potential that the Indian blockchain ecosystem has to offer."

The new fund would be open to collaborating and co-investing with other local funds sharing the same goals, Shetty said. There will also be an initiative for supporting blockchain development and incubator programs in Indian universities.

Rival Mumbai-based exchange CoinDCX announced last week it had pledged $3.1 million towards an education campaign to promote cryptocurrency adoption in India, according to a press release.

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