The Future of Money
India is the world's second-largest user of cryptocurrency and young people in the age group of 18-34 are the most prolific users
In 2022, what raised eyebrows in the fintech sector was the announcement by the finance minister to tax crypto transactions in India. Unknowingly and perhaps unlike what Nirmala Sitharaman hoped to achieve, the crypto play has probably gone up during the last two months given the new rules will be effective April 1, 2022. Despite raids on crypto exchanges and a 30 percent tax levy, data suggests that there are 15 million crypto users in India with about $6.6 billion invested in crypto assets, and the last year has seen about 400 percent growth. India is the world's second-largest user of cryptocurrency and young people in the age group of 18-34 are the most prolific users. It seems that regulating the unregulated is a daunting task, almost war-like.
The pandemic has raised the bar for the personal finance industry like never before. What changed? Mainly that purchases have increasingly moved away from cash towards digital solutions and central banks across the world have stepped up efforts to develop their own digital currencies to modernise financial systems and speed up domestic and international payments.
In this issue, we put the spotlight on insurtech, neobanks, payments, lending and wealthtech. In this fintech-focused edition, there are new perspectives from the industry's key players as the space is "coming of age', and startups are flying the sustainability flag. Ultimately, improving the financial sector through technology will become the prime focus. With this edition, we aim to shed some light on the entrepreneurial journeys of a few such fintech players.
In this issue, the pandemic-led disruption is not the only thing that we explore. While the Russia Ukraine conflict ruled the news headlines in the past month, few deliberate on the business consequences that it might entail, particularly in the Indian scenario. The turmoil might lead to another surge in the prices of oil, something that the Indian EV industry could potentially gain out of. Moreover, Indian pharma will see a direct boost in its Russian exports, as eluded by the Russian ambassador to Moscow. We speak with industry leaders in such industries which might see a direct bump in business from the conflict.
While public transportation has taken the back seat in terms of development in the past two years since it wasn't much in use, one particular facet of India is especially broken, that is, buses. Around 60 percent of Indians rely on buses for their daily commute. Yet, issues like bad maintenance, irregularities in travel, overcrowding, among others, continue to plague their usability. We explore how bus aggregators are working towards fixing these issues.