TL;DR: Barely more than a dozen employees remain at Unocoin, a cryptocurrency exchange in India, according to regional reporting. A perfect storm hit the once booming platform, from an extended bear market to lack of regulatory certainty as the country’s highest court dithers, culminating in the recent loss of a funding round.
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India Crypto Exchange Unocoin Lays Off More Staff as Funding Round Pulled
“Bengaluru-based Unocoin, a cryptocurrency trading platform, has given pink slips to half of its remaining employees, in a bid to conserve cash after talks to raise another round of funding failed to take off and as it fights for survival in an uncertain regulatory environment,” the Economic Times claimed.
This time last year, Unocoin boasted of at least 100 employees, which seemed to imply the exchange had been growing steadily since its founding some six years ago. Much of the blame for the turn in fortunes can be placed upon the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, which forbade associated banks from doing any business with crypto-related firms around the same time in 2018. Exchanges such as Coindelta and Zebpay, for example, have since closed altogether.
It’s an ongoing joke within the Indian crypto community: just a few more months, and the Supreme Court will grant clarity. The current wait is until July of this year, and literally no one knows the potential outcome. Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, explained to the Economic Times, “We did ask people to leave last week, but our operations will continue for the foreseeable future. We have some amount of reserves to push through for the next couple of months and will wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict.”
Unocoin apparently pinned its hopes previously on ATMs as an onboarding tool, and raised more than one million dollars in funding last year … before its founders were arrested for not having the proper licenses shortly after.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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