India is now home to the world’s first physical crypto bank branch despite regulatory uncertainty surrounding digital currencies in the country.
Unicas, a joint venture between Indian online crypto banking platform Cashaa and United Multistate Credit Co-op Society, has launched a physical crypto bank branch in Jaipur, India.
Back in October, Multistate announced plans to offer both online and physical crypto banking services across its 34 locations in northern India.
Users will be able to access both fiat and crypto-asset services at the bank. Unicas will also provide instant digital loans with cryptocurrencies as collateral.
According to a Cashaa blog post on Dec. 28, the physical crypto bank branch in Jaipur is part of an initial rollout in 14 locations across three states before the end of January 2021. The Unicas JV is also working toward establishing a total of 100 branches by 2022.
For Unicas CEO Dinesh Kukreja, the establishment of physical crypto bank branches will allow the company to offer customized crypto investment products to the local Indian market. With a Unicas savings account, customers can transact in both digital currencies and Indian rupees.
Commenting on the news, Cashaa CEO Kumar Gaurav described the move as a necessary development in the march toward establishing a “digital India.” Gaurav also revealed that Unicas will showcase the convenience and security associated with blockchain adoption.
Highlighting the rationale behind establishing physical crypto bank branches, the Cashaa CEO told Cointelegraph:
“India is a very social and family-based country where the financial decision is made by the head of the family, which mainly lies in the age group of 40–65 years. This age group needs to see things physically before they believe in anything and that is why we decided to open a minimum of 100 branches which will establish trust about crypto but also educate and [create] awareness about crypto.”
Despite regulatory uncertainty, crypto adoption in India is on the rise, especially in the peer-to-peer trading arena. Meanwhile, the government is reportedly looking at imposing taxes on Bitcoin transactions.