These engineers built bootstrapped crypto startup BuyUCoin while still in college — today, the exchange has 1M+ users who trade Bitcoin and other coins

When crypto startup BuyUcoin Co-founder Shivam Thakral was still a pupil at Harcourt Butler Technical University in Kanpur again in 2015, he would typically take up freelance web site growth assignments from abroad shoppers. One day, that very same 12 months, a consumer requested him if he accepted cost in Bitcoin

Unaware what that meant at the time, Shivam regarded it up and realised he may settle for Bitcoin from the consumer and liquidate it to obtain INR in his Indian checking account. He agreed to just accept his cost in Bitcoin, and quickly sufficient, Shivam acquired the cost in beneath six hours — a lot sooner than the five-to-seven day time interval taken for abroad cost transactions in fiat forex.

The engineer additionally realised that there weren’t many Indian corporations working actively in the crypto house. 

This impressed him to begin and construct bootstrapped crypto startup BuyUCoin —India’s first multi-cryptocurrency exchange, primarily based in Delhi-NCR, the place retailers and shoppers can simply transact in — purchase, promote and trade — or retailer Bitcoin, and a number of altcoins akin to Ethereum, Ripple, and others. 

In simply 9 days, Shivam built a “primary web site” the place users can purchase and promote Bitcoin. Using this web site as his minimal viable product, Shivam approached a number of of his engineering college batchmates. Two of them – Devesh Aggrawal and Atulya B – confirmed the most curiosity, and collectively, they co- based BuyUCoin in 2016 while still in college. 

BuyUCoin cofounders (from L to R) Shivam Thakral, Atulya B and Devesh Aggrawal

Elaborating on what their journey has been like and the market alternative going ahead, Shivam advised YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, 

“In the previous 5 years, now we have seen excessive highs and lows in our journey – from the highs of the 2017 crypto bull-run to the lows of the interval following the RBI ban on crypto buying and selling to the newer Supreme Court ruling lifting the ban. So this trade is right here to outlive, will constantly evolve, and turn out to be the subsequent title in the monetary trade.”  

The BuyUCoin crew

Simplicity – the key differentiator

Five years since its launch, BuyUCoin is right this moment amongst the main Indian crypto exchanges with over a million merchants and holders investing in over 130 cryptocurrency pairs akin to BTC-INR, ETH-INR, and DOGE-INR, amongst others. 

But the trio confronted challenges in the preliminary years when constructing the product as the market in India was still in its nascent stage, with no actual playbooks to show to. 

Co-founder and CTO Devesh, who built the platform from Shivam’s web site, says, “Now, constructing a crypto exchange appears straightforward. But once we began, we discovered it difficult to associate with service suppliers and needed to construct the platform ourselves with no crew and no steering. Until 2018, we had no cost channels, and needed to depend on direct financial institution transfers.”

Still, BuyUCoin co-founders labored early on to give you differentiators in their product. The prime precedence for them was guaranteeing simplicity, so users can simply purchase, promote, handle or retailer their cryptocurrencies on a platform that’s intuitive and safe. 

“Some Indian exchanges copied international exchanges in phrases of displaying buyers the real-time order e-book. But we needed to maintain our interface easy and intuitive by not displaying users the order e-book. Rather, we confirmed a single charge at which an investor may purchase a specific cryptocurrency, and the consumer may merely make the transaction at the click on of a button,” Shivam explains.

By March 2018, the characteristic helped BuyUCoin add two lakh users, and observing this traction, other exchanges started to introduce such a characteristic too, the founders declare.

Revenue mannequin and scalability

BuyUCoin’s income mannequin contains two channels —percentage-wise commissions on transactions and margins on fast and straightforward trades.

“The first one is frequent throughout exchanges. We earn fee on transactions from patrons and sellers. The second one includes a small margin on transactions on our OTC platform for cryptocurrency trades, and the dealer is proven the remaining transaction quantity inclusive of our margins. 80 p.c of our traction comes from this second channel,” Shivam explains.

The BuyUCoin cell interface

BuyUCoin’s OTC platform permits buyers and merchants with giant trades exterior the vary of open order books to purchase and promote crypto. Its OTC Desk permits high-volume trades with straightforward, fast, and secure settlements, and the startup’s OTC brokers present extremely customised providers to their users.

In anticipation of  a surge in buying and selling volumes, which have in the previous precipitated crypto exchanges to crash, BuyUCoin is scaling its methods in addition to its help methods for customer support.

“To construct a scalable crypto exchange that by no means crashes, our help methods additionally need to be scalable. So we set processes that enable our help and operations groups to perform easily alongside the exchange. We are additionally constructing a self-help system the place clients can use their transaction IDs to examine the standing of their deposits and withdrawals themselves with out elevating a ticket,” Devesh provides.

Growth amidst regulatory uncertainty

BuyUCoin is enjoying in an Indian crypto trade rejuvenated by a current RBI clarification that its 2018 round stopping banks from dealing in “digital currencies” is invalid and can’t be cited anymore after it was put aside by the Supreme Court in 2020.

The cryptocurrency trade welcomed this assertion from the RBI and seen it as an approval on the use of financial institution accounts for such transactions.

Shivam says:

“Earlier, banks used to indicate us the 2018 round despite the fact that it was put aside. This made it tough to work with them. Now, with the current clarification, we’re assured when speaking to banks. However, we don’t cope with banks instantly for consumer deposits and withdrawals. Instead, we associate with cost gateways, aggregators and processors who deal instantly with banks. Mobikwik is one such instance.”

Last 12 months, BuyUCoin introduced it was getting into right into a partnership with Mobikwik to combine the fintech startup’s cost gateway service with the crypto exchange platform to have Mobikwik as a cost choice. This means, Mobikwik’s users are additionally capable of instantly purchase cryptocurrencies on BuyUCoin utilizing Mobikwik pockets cash. 

Still, regardless of the current RBI clarification, there isn’t any readability but on whether or not the RBI has accredited the functioning of cryptocurrency (the legislative invoice titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021,” is still pending in the Parliament). 

Nevertheless, blockchain innovation and crypto buying and selling is slowly changing into mainstream in India, and exchanges like BuyUCoin, WazirX, CoinDCX and others are poised to capitalise on the inflow of recent buyers and merchants. 

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