B21 launches crypto trading app in India following regulation clarity

via FinTech Futures

B21, a cryptocurrency investment app, has launched in India following the central bank’s recent clarity around banks serving crypto traders.

In May, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said “no such prohibition exists” for banks when serving traders dealing with virtual currencies.

Despite regulation changes in March, banking channels were still freezing out crypto firms.

B21

Gibraltar-based start-up B21 allows users to purchase and manage crypto portfolios which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS.

B21 is available in 65 countries, including the US. The start-up plans to grow its client base in India to 200,000 active users by the end of 2020.

The app supports investments as small as INR 2,000 ($25) per transaction. These transactions can be made up of a single asset, or of a customised investment portfolio.

Investors can use local payment methods including India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) – India’s inter-bank transaction system, as well as debit cards and bank transfers.

The start-up says users can rebalance their portfolio, monitor profitability on their dashboard, or liquidate their positions at any time “with a few clicks”.

Users can also withdraw money globally via bank transfer (ACH) and international wire.

Crypto rules in India

In March, a Supreme Court ruling overturned restrictions imposed by RBI on banks and cryptocurrency firms which had been in force since April 2018.

These restrictions had prevented all entities – mainly banks – regulated by the central bank from dealing in virtual currencies. It had also prevented them from providing services to facilitate any person or entity dealing or settling in them.

When these restrictions first came into force, it led to a series of local cryptocurrency exchanges shutting down. These included Cryptokart, Zebpay, Koinex, and Coinome.

“Banning cryptocurrency only serves to curb innovation,” said B21’s founder and director, Nitin Agarwal. “Cryptocurrency and blockchain systems have yet to reach their full potential and we are keen to help the mass market access these attractive investment sectors.”

Spikes in crypto trading

The reversal of restrictions on crypto has since led to renewed interest in crypto investing.

Crypto banking services platform Cashaa India told Coindesk it saw an 800% spike in trading volumes in just 48 hours following the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The platform also registered a volume of 600+ BTC in the first 24 hours,” Cashaa’s CEO Kumar Gaurav says.

Partnership with Minance

B21 says it has also collaborated with Minance, a wealth management fintech.

The investing app will offer Minance customers a gateway for purchasing crypto.

Minance will in turn provide B21’s investors with research-based insights on the market, and a crypto tax calculator. “Additional features” are set to arrive “in the coming year”.

“Minance research has proven that it’s wise to build a portfolio starting with the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap,” said Minance’s CEO and investment head, Anurag Bhatia, in a statement.

“The team at B21 has cracked this. Instead of building a platform with an overwhelming array of cryptocurrencies to evaluate, they’ve curated the top digital assets, providing investors a simplified gateway to this investment class.”