Binance acquired its Indian competitor WazirX in November 2019. Image: iStock

Global decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Binance Group has set up a $50 million (Rs 370 crore) blockchain technology fund for India, weeks after the country’s Supreme Court struck down curbs on cryptocurrency trading in the country, Economic Times reported

The “Blockchain for India” initiative, which was was announced on March 16, is meant to promote the use and adoption of blockchain technologies in the country. The firm has set up a $50 million fund backed by Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD) and WazirX (WRX) — the Indian competitor it acquired in November 2019 — to invest in local blockchain projects, Cointelegraph reported.

WazirX CEO and founder Nischal Shetty said: “With this fund, we want to encourage and enable more and more founders and teams to come in and BUIDL. This initiative also shows the incredible potential that the Indian blockchain ecosystem has to offer.”

The investments made by the fund will range from $100,000 to $5 million and will include mentorships with local Indian venture funds and mentorship for recipients. 

The fund will also support universities and student organizations interested in setting up university blockchain technology incubators.

The selected project will have access to Binance’s cloud, decentralized exchange, launchpad, research, academy, portfolio companies, Binance Chain and Binance X — the exchange’s innovation initiative. 

As experts start to more widely recognize the potential of blockchain, many funds have emerged to finance the technology’s development. As Cointelegraph reported in November 2019, the European Commission and European Investment Fund launched a 400 million euro fund that looks to develop technologies including blockchain.

However, a December 2019 report suggests that, while blockchain adoption is rising, funding for blockchain startups is decreasing.

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