London-based blockchain investment and fintech firm Cashaa is opening 34 physical branches in India, in partnership with India's United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society. By establishing UNICAS, a joint venture offering interest on crypto deposits, the firm plans to scale up to 100 physical operations to facilitate crypto adoption and user’s access to crypto products. Reflecting on the regulations regarding potential crypto trading ban in India, Cashaa CEO Kumar Gaurav believed the regulations will not prevent Cashaa India from providing its banking services to Indian users.
Why it matters: India represents one of the biggest potential markets for cryptos, as it has a huge population, most of which is underbanked, or totally unbanked. Many Indians simply don't have access to financial services, and have been negatively affected by government policies that hurt the poor, like Modi's 2016 move to remonetize by outlawing large denomination banknotes. If Cashaa is able to successfully operate crypto banks in India, it will be helping to bring financial services to some of the people that need them the most. However, the Indian government has a long history of persecuting the poor, which may be a hurdle that Cashaa will have to clear.