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WazirX users eye other Indian cryptocurrency exchanges after ED probe

A source close to WazirX told indianexpress.com that "withdrawals at WazirX were high as the news of ED probing WazirX surfaced, but it is slowly now tapering off."

The action comes days after the ED served WazirX a notice under the FEMA Act. (wazirx.com)

Users of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX are actively looking for new ways to deposit their cryptos to other exchanges. This comes days after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it had frozen bank balances of Rs 64.67 crore belonging to WazirX.

“I don’t wish to take any further risks,” said Nishant Bhalerao, 28, a Mumbai based crypto investor who has deactivated his account on WazirX and is eyeing other crypto exchanges for trading.

According to the ED, Chinese loan lending companies that were shut down in India diverted their funds through crypto exchanges, and the maximum amount of funds was diverted to the WazirX exchange. Since then, the trading volume at WazirX has plunged. On August 6, the trading volume was $8.11 million, which plunged to $4.64 million on August 7 and tanked to $3.06 million on August 11, a drop of 90 per cent, as per crypto analytics platform Nomics.

A source close to WazirX told indianexpress.com that “withdrawals at WazirX were high as the news of ED probing WazirX surfaced, but it is slowly now tapering off.”

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Ritesh Kalvellu, 28, a Pune-based HR and a crypto investor created an account on CoinDCX after the Twitter spat between WazirX CEO Nishchal Shetty and Binance CEO Changepeng Zhao caused confusion about the true owner of the platform.  “How can I trust WazirX anymore? If there is a dispute between the ownership itself, how is it possible for us to put our hard-earned savings on the platform,” asked Kalvellu.

Zhao made it clear that it does not own WazirX, as there was “no transfer of shares”. However, Shetty said that Zanmai Labs, the entity that owns WazirX has a license from Binance to operate INR-crypto pairs. Further, he said that Binance operates crypto to crypto pairs, and processes crypto withdrawal for the company.

Another crypto trader, Aneesh Matthews, 34, said he transferred all of his crypto assets to hot wallets (offline crypto wallets). “Every day a new platform is either being targeted by authorities or being shut by crypto companies. I won’t be trading my assets for a while, but will keep it safe.”

First published on: 12-08-2022 at 05:13:14 pm
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