Despite the ambivalent attitude demonstrated by its government in recent months in relation to the entire cryptocurrency phenomenon, India is increasingly awash with initial coin offerings as the newly emerging capital finance mechanism finally takes off in the world’s second most populous country.
While some of the funds raised may seem modest compared to other token generating events, ICOs have nonetheless been gathering momentum as seen with the recent successes of the $5 million raised by Drivezy, an alternative car and bike rental platform, and the Zebi ICO’s $2 million pre-sale which is hoping to add significantly to its funds with an upcoming public sale in March.
Indian ICOs Tending to Incorporate Elsewhere
To overcome the uncertainties of local economic and fiscal regulation, most of these Indian blockchain start-ups coming to market are nominally conducting their ICOs from other countries providing more favourable contexts for cryptocurrency projects.
SpringRole, for example, a professional networking site similar to LinkedIn, is located in Bengaluru but their $12 million ICO is incorporated in Panama.
Another company straddling continents is the blockchain-based, contactless identity management system provider Nucleus Vision, who had a successful pre-sale in January and hailed from both Hyderabad in India and San Jose in the USA.
Startereum, a fund raising platform for “India’s best and brightest new startups” is currently investigating options for incorporating its upcoming $11 million token sale while Machaao, a cricket community app from Mumbai, is also reported to be working on its own ICO.
Final decisions on where these ICOs will eventually incorporate will depend, at least in part, on legal clarifications on cryptocurrencies that are due next month from a committee chaired by the Indian government’s Economic Affairs secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg.
Whether those clarifications will add to the recent gain in momentum of the subcontinent’s ICO phenomenon – or otherwise – remains to be seen.