Proposal to introduce Indian Rupee (cINR) Stable Coin

Hi folks,
I was wondering if there are any plans for releasing a stable coin for Indian Rupee (cINR)?
Some recent clarifications from the government have given a boost to the crypto ecosystem in the country. The major one being the govt now recognises crypto as a digital asset and profits are deemed taxable.

Here’s a proposal to introduce cINR and some of the possibilities that could emerge from it:

  1. With India having more than 500 million mobile internet users and rapidly growing digital transactions, it becomes easier to onramp users to crypto via mobile and connect them to the wider DeFi applications and markets.
  2. Currently not having a stable coin INR forces Indians to buy USDT/USDC at a premium and deters some users. Having cINR could give users a viable alternative in their native currency as well as remittance.
  3. With India planning to release it’s own CBDC by the end of the year, makes it a good entry point for cINR to gain market share in the country.
  4. cINR can be a way to direct DeFi funds towards impactful projects i.e. NGOs, climate startups, ReFi and other programs that may need support.
  5. This could encourage the large group of blockchain developers in India to build on the Celo blockchain with use cases specific to India aligned with Celo’s misson.

I am sure there are many more use cases that could emerge other than what I mentioned. What do you all think?

14 Likes

I put INR high up on the list of stablecoins that the Celo community should focus on because the Celo ecosystem has a strong community of Indian builders and the US to India is one of the largest remittance channels.

Other fiat denominated stablecoins I think are important to prioritize are:
cVDN (Vietnamese Dong)
cPHP (Philippine Peso)
cMXN (Mexican Peso)

I’m not that familiar with the regulatory landscape of a cINR token but if that doesn’t seem to be of concern then a cINR would be a real differentiator for Celo.

5 Likes

Hi Patrick,
I am extremely interested in launching cVND or cDong (if I would like to name it). I am currently looking for dev interns to build this project. Guess what the number of “unbanked” people there is over 70%, the upside is hugh but yeah I also admit there is gonna be challenges in terms of regulations and bias towards cryptocurrency?

2 Likes

Here are the highlights on the recently proposed crypto tax bill:

  1. The government will now recognises cryptocurrencies and NFTs as “virtual digital assets”.
  2. Financial Minister proposed a 30% tax on any income from the transfer of digital assets.
  3. No deduction in respect of any expenditure or allowance shall be allowed while computing such income except cost of acquisition.
  4. Losses incurred from such transactions could not be set off against any other income.
  5. India also planned to impose a 1% tax deducted at source, or TDS, on payments related to the transfer of digital assets.
  6. Gift of virtual digital asset is also proposed to be taxed at the hand of the recipient.
  7. While proposed tax rate on income from virtual assets is steep, it signals that the government recognises the country’s cryptocurrency industry.
  8. Government is still working with public stakeholders and getting inputs on how to regulate the industry.
  9. Taxation does not imply legality. More clarifications are expected by May, 2022 when the bill is set to be finalised.
1 Like

Howdy @gvish and @trooperisme - are you each based in India and Vietnam, respectively?

If not, do you know someone involved in CELO in each of those countries?

We are currently moving to phase 2 of the Celo Community Fund and it would be valuable to have members of the board from each of those locations.

3 Likes

Hi, this is a great idea and we at Swapbitssa are eager to support this venture. We provide offramps for celo native stables and were wondering ourselves the potential in India for a cINR. Feel free to contact us if you see merit in a partnership.
This is a great article and I fully support the cause and initiative expressed

4 Likes

Hi, we have CELO Vietnamese Community. I will inform him/her about the upcoming Celo Community Fund

1 Like

Hi @Pinotio.com I am based out of India. Can I get more information on what is happening in the phase 2 of the Celo Community Fund and also the responsibilities that would entail being a member of the board?

@Shaun thank you for the support. I will reach out to you if I need help from the technical side of things and figure out how this would work.

1 Like

Thanks for the post!

India is an amazing market where I believe crypto will play a huge role. Can you share more information about the liquidity sources (i.e. exchanges, on/off-ramps, etc) that exist there?

Is there anyone listing Celo locally there?

Thanks!

2 Likes

I fully agree, those currencies would be great choices. Does Celo per chance have/use ‘ambassadors’ who promote the coins in various localities to seed the markets?

2 Likes

Yes, the Celo Foundation has Ecosystem Leads in many countries, but not India so far AFAIK. I don’t speak for the Foundation, but maybe with the changing regulatory environment this is something they’ll now be considering. cc @Xochitl .

1 Like

Cool, I recently got back from a vacation in Puerto Vallarta and it just seems to me that a town like that would be such an incredible candidate for Celo and apps like Valora. Tourist towns in general.

2 Likes

Hi ,

As an Indian, I would like to chime in to say SwapBitssa could be only direct offramp for Celo stablecoins in India right now. Most other users holding cUSD/cEUR either use the P2P market on OKcoin CEX or they convert to USDT on kucoin/okcoin and then send it to an Indian exchange such as WazirX to sell to INR.

A great example of how crypto through Celo is benefitting India is ImpactMarket. I have worked closely with them and seen firsthand how quickly the communities grew and how happy they were with the speed and ease of access to the funds.

4 Likes

This is great information, thanks for sharing! I too would love to dig even further into this was well. Are there other examples/use cases that we could help enable with INR? What other ramps do you think we need to enable a robust market?

Anything specific you’ve seen by other projects in terms of driving liquidity in India that might be an interesting case study?

1 Like

Yeah, I’ve seen lots of Celo supporters from India, Vietnam, and Phillipines. Would love to see Celo engage more with those communities and stablecoins should be the first step!

3 Likes

@martinvol , I just had a chat with @gvish who would like to kick off a proposal for cINR. He needs some guidance on doing this and forking code etc.

Could you reach out to him here by DM or on Twitter? (@GuruVishwas7)

3 Likes

The Indian crypto market is one of the huge ones catered with USD stablecoins as the only stablecoin option, which again makes it difficult for the Indian community to work with because of INR/USD fluctuations.
cINR would be a great initiative catering to an estimate of 15 to 20 million crypto investors, with a total crypto holding of around $5 Billion. This will also attract a huge developer community of India.

Data from Reuters: India to tax cryptocurrencies at 30%, puts digital assets in highest tax band | Reuters

As an Indian citizen contributing to the celo ecosystem for some time now, I would love to be a part of this initiative and help make this a reality in the near future

4 Likes

I’d like to add to @Shaun’s points and provide context w.r.t exchanges and liquidity.

The major crypto exchanges in India are Binance, WazirX, CoinDCX, Zebpay and few other marginal ones. Most of the on and off ramps are either through direct exchange with INR if the desired pair is available or via P2P with INR exchanged for USDT or BUSD. Subsequently other tokens are bought using USDT or BUSD.

The pairs currently trading on exchanges with Celo are:

  1. Binance - CELO/BTC, CELO/USDT and CELO/BUSD
  2. WazirX - CELO/INR
  3. CoinDCX - CELO/INR, CELO/USDT and CELO/BTC.

Amongst the above, CELO/USDT pair on CoinDCX has highest liquidity with daily volume in the range of 0.5 to 2m USD. The second best is CELO/USDT on Binance with 5 to 10k USD daily volume.

6 Likes

Agree with @Patrick and @gvish on above points.
We are from India and very active on Celo ecosystem. We would like to fully support cINR proposal.
India is a huge market. We can see great excitement among Indians towards web3.
Millions of Indians are moving towards web3 ecosystem and development. Along with DeFi and early edge advantages, indian users can also correlate themself with cINR.

We promise if this proposal is executed, we will integrate cINR on our platform and do our best to promote it :+1:

5 Likes

Thanks for the insight, additionally we could work with implicit pairs, what are the most liquid exchanges that have INR listed vs BTC, ETH or USDT?

Best!