San Francisco— As cryptocurrency-focused venture capital firms have raced to India over the past two years, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that the crypto exchange does not see India as a viable business opportunity.

“To be honest, I don’t think India is a very crypto-friendly environment,” Zhao was quoted as saying.

According to TechCrunch, Zhao is not the only person with such a grim view of the Indian market. Zhao’s comment is noteworthy because no other person of Zhao’s stature has publicly expressed a similar opinion, despite the fact that dozens of investors and startup entrepreneurs have privately voiced comparable concerns.

Zhao blamed the country’s high tax environment for making the market not so possible for global players.

“If you are going to tax 1 per cent on each transaction, there is not going to be that many transactions,” he said.

Binance, by far the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, is operational for users in India, according to the report.

“A user could trade 50 times a day and they will lose like 70 per cent of their money. There is not going to be any volume for an order book type of exchange. So we don’t see a viable business in India today. We just have to wait. We are in conversation with a number of industry associations and influential people and trying to put some logic there,” said Zhao.

“We are trying to get this message across, but tax policies typically take a long time to change,” Zhao cautioned.

India enforced a law earlier this year for taxing virtual currencies.

It is levying a 30 per cent tax on income arising from the transfer of any virtual asset.

To capture details of all such crypto transactions, the government takes away a 1 per cent tax deduction at the source on payments made related to the purchase of virtual assets. (IANS)