Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX, Shardeum and Avinash Shekhar, ex-CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay, have launched their new venture, Pi42, a Crypto-INR perpetual futures exchange.

The exchange is making its debut in India today and aims to expand its reach across the key global markets by targeting the existing over 30 million Indian crypto investors over the next 2-3 years. Pi42 complies with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) guidelines and has applied for the approval for Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Underscoring the market opportunity, Nischal Shetty, Co-founder, Pi42, told businessline, “

The current spot market for crypto in India involves around 30 to 35 million people. Approximately 20 to 25 per cent of this, or 7 to 10 million people, are seen as potential candidates for futures trading. Recent regulatory actions by FIU against unregistered individuals have created a demand for compliant alternatives, and we aim to provide this option for crypto futures trading.”

The anticipated volume is estimated to reach $30-40 billion in the next 12 months, with potential for higher figures in a bullish market based on the experiences of 2020 and 2021, he added.

Indian investors are faced with very limited opportunities to participate in crypto derivatives trading. Currently, there is no exchange that offers derivative trading to Indian investors in INR. Pi42 aims to address all this by offering Indian investors a solution that provides a range of derivatives and ensures compliance, tax efficiency, and convenience, the venture notes.

Avinash Shekhar, Co-founder, Pi42, said, “ The venture has already launched the beta version of its website and Android app. We have also required registrations and banking partners in place. While deposits are instant, we are working on instant withdrawals, which will be facilitated in the next two weeks.”

The platform will charge trading fees, with a rack rate of 10 basis points for takers and 5 basis points for makers. These rates are expected to go down as the trading volumes go higher. The platform also has a referral program, where a 10 per cent discount will be provided to the referee and 40 per cent referral benefit to the referrer.

Some of the key features of Pi42 are seamless INR trading, where investors can deposit and trade directly in INR, perpetual futures contracts, and advanced trading features such as margin trading, stop-loss orders, and other advanced tools.