Siddharth Menon and Nischal Shetty, co-founders of the leading Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, have become the recent Indian crypto entrepreneurs to shift their base to Dubai.
Menon and Shetty have shifted to Dubai with their families; however, WazirX’s operations are still expected to continue from its headquarters in Dubai.
The company further said regarding the development, “We are a remote-first company with employees in over 70 sites. This allows all the company employees to operate from anywhere, subject to their comfort and convenience, unless they are required to travel officially. WazirX is headquartered in Mumbai, and there is no modification in any of our operating systems. It is business as usual.”
Presently, all the employees of the Binance-backed exchange work remotely. Sameer Mhatre, the third founder of the exchange, who is also the company’s CTO, will continue the operations in the exchange from India.
In February, Shetty joined hands with Omar Sayes, a US-based crypto Innovator, to work on a blockchain known as Shardeum, and Menon also disclosed his plans of launching Tegro, which is a Web3-based gaming ecosystem and marketplace in partnership with SuperGaming, a game development firm.
WazirX shifting its headquarters to Dubai is a major development amid the Indian government imposing a 30% crypto tax and 1% TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) on all virtual digital assets [VDAs] from April 1 this year.
The imposition of tax has caused trading volumes to fall around all crypto exchanges in India. Indian crypto investors are not allowed to set off their losses against the gains from VDAs. Indian government’s perspective also expands to crypto mining.
Industry players have highly criticised the move, and many crypto entrepreneurs have moved their base to other crypto-friendly jurisdictions even though the price of setting up business in these nations is high. Vauld and ZebPay had moved their headquarters back in 2018, while other crypto exchanges like CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX have their offices in Singapore. While the India-born Polygon moved to Dubai, Mudrex shifted its base to the US.
Countries like the US, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Mauritius, and Dubai that have legalised cryptocurrencies are preferred by crypto entrepreneurs. Dubai lately passed its first crypto law in 2022.