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  • Binance and WazirX have jointly set up a $50M fund aiming to invest in blockchain startups based in India.
  • The fund comes after the Indian Supreme Court dismissed earlier circular banning banks from dealing with crypto transactions.

Binance and the India-based exchange, WazirX, have set up a $50 million token fund jointly to invest in blockchain startups that are based in India. The fund “Blockchain for India” is backed by Binance’s native tokens BNB and BUSD, and WazirX’s WRX token. WazirX founder and CEO Nischal Shetty explained that this is a token fund, meaning it would not invest in startups via cash. Binance acquired WazirX back in November 2019. “Blockchain for India” comes a few weeks after the Supreme Court of India dismissed a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banning banks from dealing with crypto transactions. 

Shetty told The Block:

Due to the previous banking ban, India has been behind the rest of the world by two years, and we want to help expedite and bootstrap the ecosystem. This fund is a step in that direction.

We want to encourage, help and provide resources, connections, and knowledge to all the entrepreneurs who want to build solutions in the crypto and blockchain domains.

The fund is expected to make investments in both tokens and equity, ranging from $100,000 to $5 million. The shortlisted companies will also be getting direct access to Binance’s blockchain infrastructure and mentorship support. The two companies are looking to invest in startups focused on fiat-to-crypto gateway solutions, payment providers, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, etc.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said:

Let’s invest in India. I foresee many other blockchain companies following our footsteps.