Decoding the factors behind the popularity of crypto among corporates – Economic Times


A few years ago, much of the corporate world shunned the crypto industry. They had written off cryptocurrencies and dismissed the revolutionary blockchain technology on which they were created. Some even bought into the narrative that cryptos are a fraudulent scheme targeting the gullible in the society and luring them to invest in a product with no intrinsic value. To most, it was an ingenious tech-based pyramid scheme that was bound to fail.

Today, however, the tune has changed. While more than 8 million retail investors make the most of crypto investing through platforms like

CoinSwitch Kuber, more companies in India and across the world are embracing cryptocurrencies. They are rushing in to acquire a stake in this $1.5 trillion industry by aligning their operations with the crypto industry and creating platforms that let them tap into this ever-growing digital economy. The calls to embrace cryptocurrencies are getting louder by the day from the technology thought leaders like Infosys co-founder and chairman Nandan Nilekani.

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But why has it taken them this long to embrace crypto?
In addition to the pyramid scheme theory, which is basically a business model that recruits people with a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, there are several other reasons why many companies are only embracing cryptocurrencies a decade after Bitcoin, the pioneer in digital currency.

The most apparent is the lack of understanding of the crypto and blockchain industry. We must appreciate that before 2010, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies were a relatively small and sophisticated niche of the tech industry – preserving the nerds. Companies didn’t have the workforce to interpret this new concept and break down the revolutionary impact it has on the sustainability of their brands.

Additionally, governments and financial regulatory agencies have, for years, been dangling the regulatory threat over the crypto industry. The central bank of India had barred the banking industry and companies in their jurisdictions from interacting with crypto technology. The Supreme Court had to intervene and reverse this ban. Even then, though, there is still a lot of speculation that the government may be planning an outright ban on crypto, which forces companies into a wait-and-see mode. Again, very little has been said about how crypto facilitates seamless cross-border cash transfers, addresses the inflation problem, or helps stamp out corruption.

All these had left the most considerable portion of the population, some of whom are shareholders of these corporations, convinced that cryptocurrencies are bad. They made it increasingly complex for even the most enlightened corporate leaders to introduce crypto or crypto-related services in the institutions they head.

Why are they embracing crypto now?
What has changed, though? Why are more companies currently embracing or exploring ways in which they can embrace cryptocurrencies today?

For starters, truth, facts, and statistics have triumphed over misinformation. Startups embraced cryptocurrencies early on, and it worked for them. And now that they have seen the efficiency that crypto brings to a company, most business leaders and society, in general, are willing to look beyond misinformation and search for the truth. They are researching and engaging crypto experts to help them understand this new industry and break down the positive impact on the corporate world, especially the world of finance.

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The 2020 to 2021 season has, for example, been a period of awakening for international finance industry players like MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. They rushed to embrace crypto by allowing their clients to buy crypto and engage with other crypto services like paying with crypto via their systems.

Secondly, a lot of systems have been put in place to bridge the crypto and corporate worlds.

Coinswitch Kuber India, for instance, has created a platform through which Indians, both individuals and companies, can learn about and interact with different cryptocurrencies. On their website, you will find numerous articles and guides detailing how various entities can benefit from crypto and providing step-by-step tutorials on how individuals and corporates can start embracing – explicitly investing in – cryptocurrencies.

Further, regulators are more welcoming to cryptos and crypto technology today. For example, a year ago, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had banned cryptocurrencies. Today, speculation is rife that it is on the verge of creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the Republic of India. This has given most Indian companies some confidence in the sustainability of the crypto industry in the country.

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How are corporations embracing crypto?
Most companies have just realized the need to incorporate cryptocurrency and its underlying technology in their operations. They are still exploring ways in which they can tap into the technology and reap maximum benefits.

Amazon, the 5
th largest company in the world by market cap according to CompaniesMarketCap, for instance, recently posted a job advert for a ‘Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead.’ And the lead’s chief role will be “to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap.”

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As they work out strategies to make their systems crypto-friendly, some companies have ventured into crypto investing to allocate portions of their cash reserves or profits to crypto. Leading the path for Bitcoin investing is Elon Musk’s technology companies Tesla and SpaceX, which own more than 42,000 Bitcoins.

The number of companies investing in crypto here in India or the extent of their investments is still vague. But data from a Blockchain metrics company, Chainalysis, shows that crypto investments in the country grew from about $923 Million to over $6.6 Billion in the last 12 months, indicating that companies and individuals are buying into crypto fast.

The banking industry has also been in the frontline in embracing cryptocurrencies. They started by facilitating the purchase of cryptocurrencies by easing the deposit processed to such crypto trading platforms as Coinswitch Kuber. Today, different banks are selling crypto derivatives to their account holders while others offer investment packages and advice involving different cryptocurrencies to their high net worth clients.

Moving Forward
Coinswitch Kuber
Moving forward, corporations are expected to continue exploring ways of integrating crypto into their operations. One should, therefore, look forward to seeing several companies launch different crypto-related programs, declare crypto investments in their balance sheets, and start processing crypto payments for goods and services.

You can also expect investment firms to launch more crypto-themed products and banks to broaden partnerships with reputable crypto exchanges like
and launch more crypto derivatives. Some crypto experts even believe that the massive and global-scale adoption of crypto by the corporate world is the only thing the crypto industry needs to reach maturity.

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