WazirX founder Nischal Shetty’s #IndiaWantsCrypto campaign completes 1,000 days amid hopes of conducive regulatory oversight

The #IndiaWantsCrypto campaign, started by cryptocurrency exchange WazirX’s Founder Nischal Shetty to create awareness about cryptocurrencies, today completed 1,000 days. 

The campaign was started on November 1, 2018, following the 10th anniversary of the publishing of the Bitcoin whitepaper. The paper was published by its pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31, 2008.

It also came in the wake of the Reserve Bank of India’s April 2018 ban on cryptocurrency dealings in India.

As part of the campaign, Shetty put out at least one tweet a day, talking about interesting facts about cryptocurrencies and outlining his take on various aspects pertaining to the industry.

“There had been a growing misunderstanding of crypto as a safe haven for bad actors, or a threat to fiat currency. These myths led people to fear crypto investments, while the thought of addressing these fears drove me to launch #IndiaWantsCrypto campaign on Twitter in November 2018,” Shetty said. 

“We needed to educate people on the basic classifications of crypto to debunk their fears and showcase how we can truly make a huge difference by empowering our citizens with critical tools for their financial freedom. Citizens could embrace cryptocurrency investments and ride the growth of the blockchain revolution in India. The vision has been to stay persistent in educating the community on the critical takeaways from this truly transformative technology,” the WazirX Founder added.

In fact, an RTI query revealed that even the RBI did not undertake any research before effectively banning cryptocurrencies in India.

Over the past 1,000 days, the campaign has garnered lakhs of likes and retweets, and helped generate a conversation that culminated in the government saying that it is considering bringing in a bill to regulate cryptocurrency and will likely not ban it altogether, as some media reports speculated.

Shetty began the campaign by tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Finance Minister, Late Arun Jaitley. The campaign met with no formal acknowledgement by the government initially. On Day 303, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar asked the WazirX founder to reach out to him with his views.

The campaign got a fillip after the Supreme Court lifted the RBI’s banking ban on cryptocurrencies in March 2020. The lifting of the ban coincided with a vertical take-off in the price of cryptocurrencies after the pandemic hit.

Shetty, however, continued his campaign even as WazirX saw interest in cryptocurrencies go through the roof. In April 2021, Shetty tweeted that customer sign-ups in the first six days of the month were more than the sign-ups in the first six months of 2020.

“We’re confident of our success so far, and about the road ahead. The market has begun to truly understand how we see this as a silver lining to promote the growth of the Indian crypto community and ensure we keep motivating the entrepreneurs, blockchain experts and investors invested in this space. With the government and community backing us, we can bring in the regulations and awareness we need to build the foundation of what we now call Internet 2.0 and stay ahead of the curve,” Shetty said. 

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