Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India, is a safe haven for techies and entrepreneurs looking to make it big in their respective industries. One of the biggest hosts to crypto-related firms and projects in India, Bengaluru now has a tea seller, who has begun selling ‘chai' in return for crypto payments. Shubham Saini, a 20-something in Bengaluru has recently made headlines for his unique crypto-friendly tea stall in Bengaluru's Marathahalli area. In conversation with Gadgets 360, Saini admitted that at this point, he is not seeing any profits on his crypto earnings.
Indians have to pay a 30 percent tax on all crypto earnings and profits. Back in July, Indian crypto exchanges recorded a nosedive in trading volumes after the one percent TDS rule on each transaction went live on July 1. The average daily transaction volume on Indian exchanges WazirX, CoinDCX, BitBNS, and Zebpay had dipped to $5.6 million (roughly Rs. 44 crore) at the time. Up until June, this volume was around $10 million (roughly Rs. 80 crore).
Well, Saini is not looking at reap-in real-time benefits by holding crypto assets.
“If I convert this transacted crypto into Indian Rupee now, I am not seeing any profits. But I believe in the certain future and that's why I hold these crypto assets in my wallet considering a long term, more gain purpose,” the young entrepreneur told Gadgets 360.
Priced Rs. 20, the stall-owner also accepts payments in dollars. Pictures of his tea stall, that have emerged on Twitter, show boards placed on the stall showing Dollar to Rs. conversions to make calculations easier for crypto payers.
“I am getting three to four crypto payments everyday. I am using multiple exchanges depending on whatever the customer is comfortable paying with,” Saini told Gadgets 360.
Saini dropped out of his BCA semister and dived right into crypto trading around 2020 when his investment portfolio of Rs. 1.5 lakh jumped by a 1000 percent and swelled to 30 lakh. In a market crash that followed however, Saini's portfolio crashed majorly and left him with just around Rs. 1 lakh.
That's when he decided to open this tea stall named ‘Frustrated Dropout' in Bengaluru. In order to be linked with the crypto world, Saini opened payments for refreshments from his stall via cryptocurrencies.
The stall that offers free tea to personnel from India's defense forces, is looking to expand into the world's most green café chain.
“Our vision is to become the world's largest green company as well as cafe chain, which will use only product made from our soil, through which we can also save our environment and give employment to more and more people,” says the official website of Frustrated Dropout.
Meanwhile, despite numerous appeals from members of India's crypto community, the country's finance ministry did not amend the tax laws that were enforced on the virtual digital assets (VDA) sector this year.
The government is also not looking to incentivise workers in the sector, a subject that drew strident criticism in the country around March.
In recent market surveys, India has failed to grab a spot among world's most crypto-friendly nations. Hong Kong topped the list.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has recently called for global cooperation in regulating the crypto sector.
Over seven per cent of Indians owned digital currency in the form of cryptocurrency in 2021, according to the United Nations trade and development body UNCTAD, which said the use of cryptocurrencies globally, including in developing countries, has increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. India found itself at the seventh spot.
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