OKX’s Strategic Move: Entering India, Recruiting Local Talent for Web3 Advancements

OKX, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, is charting its course toward the Indian market, all while gearing up to enlist local talent as part of its ambitious Web3 initiatives. According to a recent report from CoinDesk, OKX has set its sights on India’s burgeoning developer community to expand its wallet services significantly.

Haider Rafique, OKX’s Chief Marketing Officer, revealed the exchange’s strategic intentions, stating they plan to scale up their wallet services dramatically by engaging with India’s developer community. Currently, OKX boasts 200,000 user wallets in India, accounting for just a fraction, approximately 5%, of the country’s Web3 users.

Rafique emphasized their commitment to understanding and collaborating with the local community, saying, “We’re going to learn about the community. We’re going to work with local folks. Figure out where we can add value.”

OKX holds the rank of the sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, measured by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap data. Notably, the exchange operates without a traditional global headquarters, instead operating from regional hubs in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and the Bahamas.

Contrary to establishing a physical office in India, OKX plans to rely on local talent to lead its efforts within the country. Rafique shed light on their approach, saying, “We’re trying to identify who’s who in the zoo and what is their contribution. There’s a large developer community. How do we help them, build a relationship with them?” This community-centric approach is seen as a way to navigate the Indian market effectively.

Recently, OKX made headlines by partnering with the blockchain platform Neo for an APAC Hackathon hosted in Bengaluru, a southern Indian city. Haider described this move as a strategic test to validate assumptions, immerse themselves in the local culture, and support the burgeoning Web3 ecosystem in India.

While cryptocurrency trading is legal in India, the country currently lacks a centralized regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. They are traded and used at the risk of investors, hold no legal tender status, and cannot be utilized for banking purposes. India also imposes a 30% tax on cryptocurrencies.

India’s Supreme Court admonished the Union government on July 27 for the absence of crypto regulations, prompting calls for clarity in response to rising criminal activities involving cryptocurrencies. Rafique acknowledged this evolving landscape, noting that Indian regulators appear to be distinguishing between Web3 and centralized finance (CeFi), focusing more on platforms with fiat on-ramps, which OKX does not offer in India.

He stated, “Once India comes up with a regulatory framework for crypto, then we would like to be the front runners.”

While OKX prepares to onboard local staff in India, it’s worth noting that Indian cryptocurrency exchanges CoinSwitch and CoinDCX recently had to reduce their workforce due to the challenges posed by the current market downturn.

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