Moneycontrol PRO

WazirX trading volumes tank over 50% amid ED probe, ownership controversy

According to data from secondary research firm CREBACO, WazirX’s trading volume dropped from $4.3 million on August 5 to $2 million on August 9

August 10, 2022 / 10:52 AM IST
WazirX app (Image: Shutterstock)

WazirX app (Image: Shutterstock)

Crypto exchange WazirX, which has been in an ugly spat with Binance over its ownership, has seen trading volumes tank by more than 54 percent over the last five days. This comes at a time when trading volumes of Indian exchanges are already at their lowest.

Secondary research firm CREBACO data shows that WazirX’s trading volume dropped from $4.3 million on August 5 to $2 million on August 9.

WazirX is India’s biggest crypto exchange with more than 10 million users who have been stunned by the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) money-laundering probe and Binance disowning the exchange following the investigation.

Last year, it traded a volume of $43 billion, with the WazirX (WRX) coin ranking among the top five currencies.

The price of the coin, now controlled by Binance, has dropped more than 9 percent and trading volume halved over the last five days, CREBACO data shows.

Moneycontrol has reported that the future of WRX coin has been a matter of concern for the users. In a statement, Binance said, “As for listing or delisting, we don’t comment on any specific token or coin. At Binance, we periodically review each digital asset we list to ensure that it continues to meet the high level of standard we expect.”

Also read: ED investigation, Binance break-up—is brand WazirX crumbling?

Binance said on August 5 that the company does not own Indian crypto exchange WazirX, raising questions over a deal that was understood to be completed in 2019.

The statement came after ED said it froze Rs 64.67 crore worth of bank assets of WazirX for allegedly assisting some instant loan app companies in the laundering of money through the purchase and transfer of virtual crypto assets.

As reported by Moneycontrol, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao, one of the pioneers of the global crypto industry, and WazirX’s co-founder and CEO Nischal Shetty, the poster boy for the cryptocurrency movement in India, have been facing heat from their users.

The uncertainty over ownership has led to multiple users withdrawing funds. Moneycontrol, however, could not ascertain the number of accounts closed on the platform.

Also read: WazirX-Binance rift: What it is all about and what it means for Indian crypto investors

Binance, which asked users to transfer funds from WazirX to the company, has also removed off chain transactions.

In a statement, Zanmai Labs, which runs WazirX said, “Users are signed up on WazirX only after they complete the KYC process, including submitting proof of address and identity. Our KYC/AML terms and processes are available on the platform publicly. For every transaction, we are able to produce the KYC details of the relevant user. We do not accept any cash transactions.”

“We have fully cooperated with the Enforcement Directorate for several days and have responded to all their queries fully and transparently.”

Binance has said it will not invest further in WazirX and hinted at setting up its operations.

Sanghamitra Kar
Sanghamitra Kar
first published: Aug 10, 2022 10:52 am