India, incredible and diverse, is full of surprising stories. The latest is the steadily rising demand for skilled crypto professionals. This is intriguing given the backdrop of the government's stance on digital assets. What is more interesting is the advent of blockchain and the consequent rise of the smaller cities.
A cursory look at the data from Money Control shows that while the garden city, formerly known as Bangalore, has maintained its stranglehold on this budding market, housing about one-third of the total tech firms in the country, there are smaller cities that are making their mark. These “tier 2 cities”, Pune, Gurgaon, and Noida make up more than 20 percent of the jobs posted for crypto.
Hyderabad is ranked second and completes the list of the top five major crypto hubs. The data compiled also noted that while there were new entrants in Trivandrum and Ahamadabad, the majority of the work still lay in the southern part of the county. Some of the biggest crypto players like Unocoin continue to work from their offices down south. The report concluded,
“While northern markets see consistent demand, the numbers still do not compare to their southern counterparts.”
Despite the lack of government support, the industry has been gaining traction. This is undoubtedly aided by the nations already booming IT industry which many people see as a “safe job”. As the Managing Director of Indeed ‘s Indian branch, Venkata Machavarapu reasons
“Given the enormous scope of blockchain technology and the fact that crypto careers offer newer avenues to explore” there will be undoubted interest among the educated in India. He further pointed out, “Demand for skilled professionals has been steadily on the rise, and technology hubs such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad continue to create opportunities.”
All this is well, yet any industry, regardless of its potential, needs to have the local governments backing in order to thrive. The Indian government has hardly made this any easy; last year the country's finance minister, Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha, the country's parliament, that the government did not consider crypto assets legal. This created quite a stir in the local markets. Then the Indian central bank, the Reserve bank of India, implemented a ban on all crypto activity.
This last order by the central bank effectively banned all financial institutions from providing any banking services to crypto and crypto related businesses. Unsurprisingly, this saw any interest in the industry take a nose dive. With business adversely affected many had to close down. Case in point Zebpay, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the country, closed soon after the circular was issued. All this hasn't stopped the local populace from being part of the blockchain. It just means that people have to be more creative.
Perhaps realizing this or because the nations top court was petitioned, the government has formed a committee headed by the secretary of Economic affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg. His team has been tasked with coming up with recommendations that will form the bedrock of laws for governing crypto.
These regulations are well on their way, the Supreme court has given them a months time to finalize and present them. Thus, in spite of the ongoing border tensions and upcoming elections the government is busy discussing their options with top law firms and holding summits to establish the framework for cryptocurrencies.
Whether this bears any fruit or not, the apparent urgency bodes well for the crypto community.