One of the first crypto exchanges in India, ZebPay, has applied for a license in Singapore and is looking to do a similar move in the United Arab Emirates, according to a Bloomberg report. The move comes as recently imposed transaction taxes in India weigh on ZebPay’s transaction volumes.
New Crypto Taxes Hurt Trading Volumes in India
ZebPay, one of India’s oldest crypto exchanges, is targeting expansion into Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bloomberg reports. The company has already applied for a license in Singapore and plans to do the same in the United Arab Emirates, CEO Avinash Shekhar told Bloomberg.
The move comes as crypto exchanges in India struggle to realize their growth potential following the 1% transaction tax imposed by the Indian government earlier this year. Shekhar said new taxes are weighing on crypto trading volume and must come down or “things are not going to get better,” he added.
Daily trading volumes on major crypto exchanges in India have fallen by more than 90% since the new transaction taxes came into force in July 2022. As a result, struggling crypto exchange WazirX has reduced d 40% of its workforce. ZebPay took similar action, cutting the salaries of non-executive employees by 6%.
According to crypto data aggregator Nomcis, ZebPay’s daily trading volumes have fallen from $122 million in October 2021 to around $700,000. Founded in 2014, ZebPay is a key Indian crypto exchange that allows users to trade over 100 different tokens.
Shekhar intends to leave ZebPay to start his own Web3 business, although he will retain an advisory role with the company. ZebPay will also be one of the seed investors in Shekhar’s new venture.
India’s crackdown on the crypto industry
India’s new crypto taxes are part of the government’s efforts to crack down on local crypto businesses. Last month, the financial watchdog, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), froze $1.5 million worth of crypto assets in the country.
Over the summer, India’s central bank called on the government to ban cryptocurrencies due to the “destabilizing” effect digital assets have on monetary stability. In response, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said global collaboration was needed to impose such a ban.
ZebPay’s decision to expand into Singapore comes as no surprise as the city-state has been considered one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world. However, even Singapore considered tightening restrictions on retail crypto after May’s LUNA implosion.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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