Binance Taps DeFi Excitement to ‘Fuel’ Expansion Strategy in India


Binance, the global crypto exchange, is looking to accelerate business development in India during the local 2020 bull run – with an acute focus on decentralized finance (DeFi). Ever since India’s Supreme Court overturned banking restrictions in March, demand for crypto has skyrocketed. 

“With the second-largest blockchain developer base in the world, India has already kick-started the revolution of decentralization and we’re here to fuel it,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a press statement.  

As the cornerstone of that India strategy, the Binance-owned and Mumbai-based exchange WazirX is collaborating with the Indian startup Matic on DeFi protocol research. Both are also co-sponsoring a DeFi-centric hackathon this autumn called Build for Bharat.

Hackathon winners will be eligible for the above-mentioned accelerator fund, according to press representative Simran Alphonso, in addition to prize money contributed by various sponsors including Marlin and Google Cloud India. 

The virtual hackathon will last until October, ending when five finalists receive 3,000,000 INR (roughly $40,000) in prizes. Alphonso said judges will be looking for projects related to DeFi. 

One of the goals for this hackathon is to help the global Binance teams identify local talent, including opportunities for both investment and remote hires. Registration for the hackathon, which will select 100 participating teams, opens in September, with winners earning both prize money and a prospective investment from Binance. 

Alphonso said crypto projects that receive investment from Binance’s $50 million Blockchain for India fund also get mentorship through the exchange’s first local accelerator program, Polaris, to help the recipient with everything from software tools to the go-to market strategy.

In the meantime, WazirX continues to gain traction. Alphonso said the exchange processed a total volume of $255.5 million this summer alone, thanks to a 130% increase in user signups.

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