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"DeFi Startups in India Should Consider Fundamental Value of Web3 for Use Case": CoinDCX's Gaurav Arora

From perceiving the fundamental value of DeFi for a particular use case to government support, here's what DeFi startups in India need

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Feb 22, 2024 06:54:33 PM IST

"DeFi Startups in India Should Consider Fundamental Value of Web3 for Use Case": CoinDCX's Gaurav AroraImage: Shutterstock

Chainalysis published its fourth annual Global Crypto Adoption Index in September 2023, tracking grassroots crypto adoption across borders. India ranked at the top, which might seem surprising to many, considering there is no concrete crypto regulation just yet. However, it seems the common man has spoken, and crypto and web3 have a bright future in India.

DeFi is one of the key areas of focus for Indian startups today; over 300 such entities are active in the space with varying degrees of success. A startup with an innovative idea may still speculate about the viability of DeFi-focused companies in India. Gaurav Arora, leading DeFi initiatives at CoinDCX, recently spoke on the potential of decentralised finance in the nation, highlighting key considerations.

While the regular Indian user may be more receptive to DeFi, crypto, and the broad web3 space than users from other parts of the world, there’s more to it- what unique opportunities does DeFI bring? Which pain points can be best addressed with decentralisation? Does the Indian government back up this degree of innovation?

Arora believes beyond the money-making opportunity, the real value in web3 can be perceived by up and coming startups if they ponder how the features of web3 (like decentralisation and composability) can apply to their use case: “...what they should focus on is the open nature of web3. Can it add value to them? Can it solve their problems? Can it give them a competitive edge? Is there an opportunity?”

Looking past just the demand for web3 solutions, startups in India may need to see the fundamental value in web3 to succeed. Here’s how Arora sums up one of the key features that can prove advantageous: “I think the first most important part is what's called composability. If a particular web3 protocol exists, somebody else can use that to build something on top of it. Then a third person can come use the second one and build something on top. So they can make an unlimited number of combinations because they can keep connecting all of these blocks.”

Further, governments also play a role in the future of DeFi in India. Arora gives an example of UPI, where “... there was a push from the government to get initial people into it. And that's become one of the largest assets that India has.” With such government support, startups with innovative ideas can potentially make it big. As Telangana’s T-Hub is already doing, regulatory bodies across Indian regions are expected to encourage sandboxes and other initiatives that promote innovation- not just in web3 but across all technologies. This would in turn interest the general populace too.

Okto is a wallet from CoinDCX designed to simplify web3 for the Indian user. Arora calls it an all-around ‘simple wallet’ for the seemingly complex and broad web3 space. With the recently released Okto SDK, it is walking the talk. “Startups don’t need to know about the intricacies of blockchain: the Okto SDK allows seamless web3 integration into all sorts of regular apps - like games, stores and more,” much like payment gateways of today integrate into all sorts of apps. True web3 adoption is perhaps the integration of web3 with all its advantages, without any change in UX for users.

As the crypto and DeFi space in India grows, web3 sure thrives, inviting more and more startups to innovate. It’s imperative to keep an eye on the results through, once the initial excitement disperses.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.
Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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