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Crypto firms invited to participate MEITY backed accelerator program

The startup acceleration program StartupToScaleUp has invited blockchain and crypto currency firms to participate in the second phase of its global acceleration program, according to its social media promotions. The acceleration program is supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), which has tasked The GAIN (Global Accelerator for Innovation Network) to implement and conduct the program.

In the first cohort of the StartToScaleUp program, ten startups in the healthcare and edutech space were selected to participate in the 10-week program, which included workshops, networking with investors and mentors as well as sponsorship to a foreign location for business expansion. The program for the second cohort also is also for 10-weeks and includes. The main benefit of the program is that the fees are waived by the MEITY and that there will be no equity dilution for founders. The program will also provide support services such as co-working space, CXO services and legal and accounting support.

While the second cohort will include startups in the AgriTech, and the Manufacturing Tech space, Fintechs involved in blockchain, crypto currency, RegTech, InsurTech, LendTech and other spaces like banking and mobile payments have been invited to participate. A total of 10 startups will be selected for the second cohort of StartupToScaleUp, according to the website.

Due to the present, COVID-19 situation however, a majority of the events organised by GAIN will take place virtually, it said. The last date for applying to the program is December 20.

Regulation of crypto-currencies

While the Supreme Court in March this year struck down the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) April 2018 circular, which barred banks from engaging with crypto currency firms, the central bank is yet to issue new guidelines to banks. As a result of this order, Indian banks have been free to once again partner with and provide services to domestic crypto currency exchanges based on the banks’ own risk-assessment.

Some of the leading banks which allow customers to buy/trade crypto currencies through Indian exchanges include State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank to name a few. They are also offering working capital loans and financial services to the crypto currency exchanges, while monitoring trades on these platforms to ensure customer safety.

While the RBI has not permitted crypto currency firms to participate in its regulatory sandbox, the inclusion of crypto currency firms in a government-backed accelerator program bodes well for the industry.

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