Crypto Exchange Vauld Eyes AUM Five-Fold Growth To Hit $5 Billion This Fiscal Year: CEO

Vauld, a fast-growing cryptocurrency exchange, is eyeing a five-fold increase in assets under management (AUM) to $5 billion from $1 billion this fiscal year, said its co-founder and CEO Darshan Bathija.

After closing its $25m Series A funding in July last year, this Singapore-domiciled cryptocurrency platform, which launched in 2019, saw a 10x growth in its assets. under management and a 40x growth in its customer base. From an AUM level of $90 million last year, Vauld has grown to $1 billion and India now accounts for 20% of the AUM, according to Bathija.

“We are currently at over $1 billion in assets under management. We would like to get to $5 billion as soon as possible. We’re trying to make that happen this exercise. That’s fivefold and that’s the rate at which the crypto space is growing. We are well prepared to get there,” said Bathija Activity area.

“We have been the benefactors of the tailwinds of 2021. We have seen NFTs bring us a whole new wave of customers. We have exceeded the industry growth rate and continue to do so. We’re pretty happy with how we’ve performed so far. Today is just the first day. There’s a long way to go and quite an exciting journey that we’re looking forward to.

Vauld’s $25 million Series A funding was led by Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by Peter Thiel, Andrew McCormack and James Fitzgerald.

“Currently we have a million customers on Vauld and a significant portion of that is from India. Business revenues have increased 10 times over the past 12 months,” Bathija added.

He also said Vauld, which currently has 140 people and has operations in the US, UK, Singapore and India, aims to grow into a 300-person company by the end of the year.

“India represents around 20% of our assets under management. India is one of the important markets we are targeting. We really care about India because Sanju (co-founder of Vauld) and I are from India and want to expand our products to the Indian crypto community,” added Bathija.

Bathija’s remarks on the Indian market are significant as Vauld now accounts for around $10-15 million out of the total daily volume of around $250 million that is traded by Indians outside India through Indian crypto exchanges.

Encryption policy

When asked if he sees India bringing political certainty on cryptocurrency and oversight framework on crypto exchanges, Bathija said it was important to note that “the clarity we have today t is about taxation, not regulation”. In its business model, Vauld focuses on serving high net worth passive investors and not active traders. Unlike other India-domiciled crypto exchanges that make money through trading behavior, Vauld seeks to make money based on long-term wealth creation that is aligned with the ambitions of its clients.

“Our revenue model is tied to the AUM of the lending platform that we are also while being a crypto exchange. We are able to make money because we have built a credit system with the crypto asset class. The interest income generated by the facilitation of credit transactions is the main source of income for us. We are not tied to brokerage revenue like some crypto exchanges operating out of India are,” Bathija said.

RBI concerns

Asked about RBI’s concerns about cryptocurrencies and whether the central bank’s fears are misplaced, Bathija said, “I think to a very large extent their (RBI) fears are correct. We are willing to work with RBI to address these fears. It’s just that it’s not currently a two-way conversation between us (RBI and the crypto industry),” Bathija added.

Asked how the crypto industry can allay regulatory concerns about illicit and fraudulent transactions facilitated by cryptocurrencies, Bathija said, “You look at the ratio of illicit transactions in crypto to total transactions… there is very weak. Cryptography is perhaps the worst instrument to facilitate illicit transactions. Because there is a permanent record that everyone can see in perpetuity.

“You had to facilitate illicit transactions, you want to use the most untraceable form of money possible and that’s not cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are the most traceable form of money possible because they are open blockchains. The least traceable form of currency is cash. So if there is anything being scrutinized for illicit financial transactions, it has to be the mainstream financial system. The crypto world has a transparency that no financial regulator has ever seen. The argument is baseless and you can track the transaction endlessly and hence it is foolish to use an instrument like crypto which is so transparent to undertake illicit or fraudulent transactions.

Published on

May 05, 2022

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Crypto Exchange Vauld Eyes AUM Five-Fold Growth To Hit $5 Billion This Fiscal Year: CEO

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