Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has recently announced a significant investment of INR 200 crore (approximately $24 million) over the next two years in the Indian market. This move is part of the company’s broader strategy to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to this substantial investment, Gemini has already established an office in Gurgaon, one of India’s prominent tech hubs, and assembled a team of over 70 employees to support its operations. The CEO of Gemini Asia Pacific, Pravjit Tiwana, believes that India’s burgeoning tech and startup ecosystem, along with favorable government initiatives, make it an ideal destination for cryptocurrency growth.
Gemini’s Investment in India
Gemini’s decision to invest $24 million in India over the next two years signals a significant commitment to the Indian cryptocurrency market. This investment is primarily aimed at bolstering its operations in Gurgaon, which is expected to become Gemini’s second-largest engineering hub globally. The company also plans to increase its headcount in the region. Pravjit Tiwana highlighted the favorable startup environment in India, citing the “Startup India” initiative by the Indian government as a positive factor for Gemini’s growth prospects. India has witnessed a remarkable increase in government-recognized startups, surging from 471 in 2016 to a staggering 26,542 in 2022.
Challenges in the Indian Crypto Market
While Gemini’s investment demonstrates confidence in India’s crypto market potential, it’s worth noting that the country’s cryptocurrency landscape has its challenges. One significant hurdle is the tax framework. In 2022, India implemented a flat 30% tax on cryptocurrency gains, along with a 1% tax deduction at source (TDS) for crypto transactions. These tax regulations have impacted trading volumes and have been a point of contention within the cryptocurrency community.
Gemini’s Global Expansion Strategy
Gemini’s expansion in India aligns with its broader global expansion strategy. Although the company has outsourced engineering and other operations from India in the past, it has not yet launched its cryptocurrency exchange in the country. This cautious approach may be attributed to India’s regulatory environment and tax policies.
Apart from its focus on India, Gemini is actively expanding its business team in Singapore, further establishing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The company has announced plans to hire at least 100 staff to build its Asian hub. Additionally, there have been reports suggesting that Gemini is considering applying for a virtual assets license in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), underlining the exchange’s commitment to expanding its reach on a global scale.
Gemini’s substantial investment in India reflects its confidence in the country’s potential as a cryptocurrency market. While India’s crypto landscape presents challenges, including taxation and regulatory issues, Gemini’s decision to expand its operations in India demonstrates its commitment to tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing tech and startup ecosystems. As Gemini strengthens its presence in Gurgaon and focuses on building its Asian hub, it will be interesting to see how it navigates the evolving regulatory landscape in India while contributing to the growth of the cryptocurrency industry in the region.