An Indian banking services provider will now allow customers to transact in digital currencies at its 22 physical branches. The service will be provided in collaboration with the crypto banking platform Cashaa.
New 22 branches to open soon
United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society, an Indian banking services provider, announced its plans for offering cryptocurrency services in its 22 physical branches. The services will be provided in collaboration with Cashaa, a crypto banking platform. This is for the first time that society’s customers would be allowed to buy and sell Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the physical branch. They will also be allowed to take loans against their crypto holdings.
Dinesh Kukreja, the CEO of the new initiative called UNICAS and the managing director of the co-op society said,
“We are the first regulated financial institution in the world with physical branches where users can access crypto products.”
UNICAS is expected to launch its services in December 2020 and plans to expand rapidly to 100 branches by 2022. Currently, the services will be available in 22 branches across three states- Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajasthan which have a combined population of 150 million. UNICAS will also provide online crypto banking to users, allowing them to integrate their crypto wallets with their bank accounts.
How is UNICAS different?
UNICAS is being run by a cooperative bank which is regulated by the Cooperative Societies Act of 1912 and not the banking regulations. This allows them to work with more freedom compared with traditional banks in regards to cryptocurrencies. Initially, it will allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and Cashaa.
The Indian Supreme Court in March this year overturned a banking ban on crypto services by the Reserve Bank of India. This cheered the crypto community but has failed to provide a clear regulatory view on cryptocurrencies. Given the instability of the rupee and a higher number of cross-border remittances arriving in the country, it is likely that the crypto market share will only increase.