- Today, users are a lot more tech-savvy and understand basics and the inherent volatility associated with space
- It is also important for us to showcase the developments of the global crypto community so our entrepreneurs are also motivated in building next-gen DeFi products.
- One of the biggest challenges is progressive regulations – something which the government has failed to bring in despite the availability of global regulatory templates.
We are back with the second feature of the #CryptoSpotlight interview series. In our first feature, we had Naimish Sanghvi who shared his thoughts on the current crypto environment in the country and why he thinks that representation is the first step to resolve the challenges faced by the Indian crypto ecosystem.
And, today’s guest of honour is Shashank Venkat who through his YouTube channel Crypto Dost and several other mediums like the podcast, social media, and blogs is simplifying the crypto concepts for Indian users. So, let’s begin and know what’s his take on India’s present stand on crypto and the way forward.
1) Hello Shashank! Can you tell our readers what your brand/company is about and how it is helping the Indian crypto ecosystem?
Shashank – The Crypto Dost media network aims to evangelize crypto in India in an easy to understand, friendly manner. With a distributed presence through our YouTube channel, podcast, social media, and blogs, we are trying to simplify cryptocurrencies for Indian users across multiple platforms. We are not a cryptocurrency shilling platform; instead, we see ourselves as a trusted voice in the community where users can come in and access news and information minus the hype.
2) What is your crypto story? How did you first start and what motivated you to become a community voice?
Shashank – I stumbled across cryptocurrencies in early 2017 when I was researching about blockchain technology for an article that I was working on. What followed was the proverbial journey down the rabbit hole. Of course, there was a huge learning curve associated with trading crypto, setting up wallets, and a host of other mechanisms that were completely different from traditional investment avenues. That’s when I realized the need for a Crypto 101 platform that specifically addressed the needs of the Indian users who were being exposed to this complex mass-market technology for the first time. I wanted to build a platform where users could come in, accelerate their journey in the space, and avoid common pitfalls. In order to bring about the crypto revolution in India, it is important that the average retail investor understands cryptocurrencies as much as tech-savvy crypto geeks do. Our network is targeted towards those retail investors who want to come in and understand the very basics of crypto before putting their hard-earned money into it. Our platform is perhaps the first India-focused media platform with an intent to become the voice of Indian users. We also wanted to be a platform for the global community to understand the happenings of the Indian crypto ecosystem.
“The Indian crypto community has also been vocal about progressive crypto regulations and they understand the importance of embracing this technology.”
3) What are the changes you have seen from the day you became a community voice until now?
Shashank – The crypto industry has evolved significantly over the past 3-4 years and we see those changes reflect within the community as well. Today, users are a lot more tech-savvy and understand the basics and the inherent volatility associated with space. They are also not averse to trying out advanced features such as borrowing, lending, and margin trading which may not have been the case 3-4 years ago. The Indian crypto community has also been vocal about progressive crypto regulations and they understand the importance of embracing this technology. While we have seen a lot more users come into space in the last few years, I would like to see more users coming in from the length and breadth of India for crypto to become a truly mass-market investment product.
“It is important that crypto be not viewed as a get rich quick scheme, rather it should be viewed as a part of a well-diversified investment portfolio with a mix of equity, debt and gold alongside crypto.”
4) Tell us how are you bringing about the crypto revolution in India.
Shashank – One of my key goals is to make retail investors understand the importance of crypto as an asset class. It is important that crypto be not viewed as a get rich quick scheme, rather it should be viewed as a part of a well-diversified investment portfolio with a mix of equity, debt and gold alongside crypto. I am also trying to educate users about the fast-changing dynamics of the space – from the emergence of new features to ongoing changes in the regulatory landscape. It is also important for us to showcase the developments of the global crypto community so our entrepreneurs are also motivated in building next-gen DeFi products. Crypto is ultimately shaping to become an industry of its own with multiple facets – investment, products, and services, among others. It provides a great opportunity for many Indians to jump in, bring their own skills sets to the table, and be early movers in the space. If Crypto Dost can even make a difference in one person’s life and motivate her/him to build a successful product, I would consider it a job well done!
5) What are the current challenges you feel the Indian crypto ecosystem has and what do you think is the resolution for this?
Shashank – One of the biggest challenges is progressive regulations – something which the government has failed to bring in despite the availability of global regulatory templates. The community has to keep engaging with the Indian government to ensure that they listen to the voice of the community. Another key challenge is understanding the security aspect. Crypto necessitates the need for users to understand different aspects of security such as 2FA and other mechanisms. This should be facilitated by exchanges themselves as they are the closest to the Indian investors. The third, of course, is the education and awareness about different aspects where media platforms like Crypto Dost have a key role to play.
“I will ask him to follow the regulatory standards adopted by other countries and give crypto a chance to flourish with progressive regulations.”
6) If you get the chance to meet Mr. Modi, what will you tell/suggest to him about the Indian crypto industry?
Shashank – I would request him to keep an open eye towards crypto. I will ask him to follow the regulatory standards adopted by other countries and give crypto a chance to flourish with progressive regulations. Crypto can open the doors to more investments, creation of jobs, and distribution of wealth in India and that is something I will stress on in my conversation with him.
7) What changes do you think crypto will bring in India in the next 5,10 years?
Shashank – Crypto can fundamentally alter the dynamics of the way Indians invest. As I have mentioned earlier, crypto can be a part of a well-diversified portfolio and it will give a lot of Indians a chance at having better returns from their investments in the future. From the larger perspective, it will also become a standalone industry in the next decade with an ecosystem of businesses, media companies, research companies building around it. With the abundance of tech talent, I would not be surprised to see India emerging as a global powerhouse of crypto. However, Indians will need the support of progressive regulations if we are to achieve our potential.
8) Your views on #TryCrypto and how we can strengthen crypto adoption in India?
Shashank – Crypto Dost has been a huge proponent of #TryCrypto and it is a fantastic way to organically spread the message about cryptocurrencies. The best thing about #TryCrypto is that it puts the onus of spreading the message on individuals rather than exchanges or influencers. People are more likely to #TryCrypto when the message comes from their friends or family members. Just like blockchains, #TryCrypto can build a huge chain of crypto proponents who can embrace and understand this nascent asset class. If you are truly curious, there is no heading back once you are into the ecosystem. Initiatives like #TryCrypto is critical to bringing mass-market adoption to crypto.
Thank you, Shashank for sharing such wonderful insights with our readers. We hope to see you back on ‘Crypto Spotlight’ soon.
Stay tuned with us as we will be publishing the third feature of the series very soon. The feature will have another eminent community voice who will share their views and would enlighten us further on the future prospects of the Indian crypto ecosystem.
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