Money & Banking

Crypto exchange WazirX disrupted by the rush to buy Shiba Inu coins

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on October 28, 2021

Shiba Inu gains 100% in 24 hours

A record-breaking rally and frantic trading in meme-themed crypto currency Shiba Inu has disrupted crypto exchange WazirX, which is headquartered in Mumbai.

Shiba Inu has rallied more than 100 per cent in the past 24 hours on the back of a petition to get it listed on global stock trading brokerage platform Robinhood. Disruption hurts many people as WazirX has more than 9 million users, sources told BusinessLine.

Shiba Inu has been on a dream run since Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency Ethererum, donated around $1 billion (₹7,324 crore) worth of Shiba Inu coins to India’s Covid Crypto Relief Fund. This fund was set up by Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sandeep Nailwal on April 24. Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer who is known to be close to maverick businessman and Tesla promoter Elon Musk.

Last month, Shiba Inu witnessed a rally as Musk tweeted a photo of his puppy dog that resembles the meme coin. Shiba Inu was founded in 2020 by an anonymous person going by the Japanese name Ryoshi who put it on the blockchain network to decentralise its operations.

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In the last 24 hours, the rally in Shiba Inu was due to three lakh people signing petitions on Change.org to get it listed on Robinhood. This led to disruption on WazirX on Wednesday. Crypto exchanges trade for 24 hours 365 days. Little known individual Tristan Luke had started the petition to list Shiba Inu on Robinhood and has received more than lakh signatures. The Dogecoin inspired meme coin Shiba Inu is the 11th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $32 billion. It is listed exclusively on WazirX in India.

“We are investigating the delays in the WazirX app and website. Team is working on scaling the systems and will update you as soon as it is fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience,” WazirX told its clients in a communication. It also lists scores of other crypto currencies on its platform but has not given any reason for the tech disruption.

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Opaque process

According to traders on WazirX, even though the money was transferred from the bank, their orders could not get executed or the orders once placed could not get cancelled. Also, those who traded on Wednesday had no way to know details of their transactions till Thursday morning. Those buying and selling on WazirX platform have to mainly use Mobikwik pay wallets to transfer their money from bank accounts to and fro. Since Wednesday, Mobikwik, too, had been witnessing payment issues, clients told Business Line.

Crypto exchanges are yet to prove themselves on the technology front and clients say that sometimes buying and selling on them and money transfers are tedious. Yet, due to the hype of crypto trading these exchanges now claim to have more traders registered with them than the mainline stock exchanges like the BSE.

Experts say that WazirX and scores of other crypto exchanges should detail their technology and various other details like inventor profile and checks and balances followed by them in handling client money. The total market capitalisation of the global crypto market is nearly $2.6 trillion, which is the same as India’s gross domestic production.

Published on October 28, 2021

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