Xapo Bank, a Gibraltar-based cryptocurrency bank backed by SoftBank, DST Global Partners and Ribbit Capital, has announced its expansion to India, the world’s most populous nation. 

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Fast facts

  • Xapo Bank said on Thursday that it has started offering its full suite of crypto and financial services to Indian customers.  
  • Xapo Bank offers 4.1% annual interest on U.S. dollar deposits and 1% on Bitcoin, with daily payouts in satoshis, according to its website. The bank allows crypto-to-fiat conversions, immediate stablecoin-to-fiat exchanges, and facilitates British pound or euro transfers.
  • “Xapo Bank’s decision to accept members across South Asia, including India, represents an opportunity to provide our hybrid banking and investment solutions to its large underserved populations, bridging an important gap in the region’s financial systems,” Seamus Rocca, chief executive of Xapo Bank, said in a statement on Thursday. 
  • Attracting about US$15.5 billion in total foreign inflows between January and March this year, India, home to 1.4 billion people, presents a lucrative investment opportunity.  Fitch Ratings further boosted investor confidence on Thursday by revising India’s economic growth forecast to 6.3%, up from an earlier 6%. 
  • Asia’s third-largest economy has also managed to put up a strong fight amid a slowing global economy. For the January to March quarter of 2023, India’s gross domestic product grew by 6.1%, while that of China, the world’s second largest economy, grew by 4.5% in the first quarter.
  • However, India has been cautious with cryptocurrency trading. The South Asian nation imposes a 30% flat tax on crypto income, a 1% tax deducted at source on trades above 10,000 rupees (US$122), and forbids offsetting losses against gains. Late payment invites a 15% annual interest penalty and possible imprisonment for up to six months. 

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(Update edits DST Global Partners as Xapo Bank backer, not DST Global.)