CrossTower Research: Embracing Web3 Could Be $1.1T Opportunity

Research firm estimates that by 2032, Web3 will add $1.1 trillion of economic value to India’s GDP.


Gateway of India, Mumbai; Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • With crypto legislation finalized in India, CrossTower Research is bullish on its potential in-country
  • CrossTower believes that Web3 will be as consequential to the global economy as the birth of the internet, and young, tech-savvy India is poised to capitalize on it

India is poised to capture $1.1 trillion in economic value as its young, tech-savvy population embraces the Web3 era now that legislation around crypto in-country has finalized. That’s the conclusion of research firm CrossTower in their December report.

“India’s geopolitical power, status, and leadership over the next 20 years is inextricably linked to the policies and regulatory framework that it implements today with respect to digital assets and the Web 3.0 industry,” CrossTower wrote.

“Many believe this digital-world, paradigm-shift to Web 3.0 will be as consequential as the birth of the internet.”

The report cites a study from the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) which found that the digital asset industry in India could add $184 billion of economic value by 2030 and that the industry could employ several hundred thousand people in India over the same period. 

“While this is an impressive amount, we believe the opportunity is much larger, and estimate the economic value to be conservatively $1.1 trillion by 2032,” the firm said. “We believe the bulk of this $1.1 trillion in economic growth for India over these 11 years would be derived from ancillary digital asset-related businesses that have yet to be invented.”

CrossTower believes that Web3 will touch nearly all sectors of India’s economy including supply chain, tokenization of real estate, digital identity, and financial services. CrossTower notes that internet industries actually make up a larger percentage of GDP in India than they do in the US — 12% of the US GDP in 2020, or $2.45 trillion, versus 16% of India’s GDP in 2020.

Part of the reason why CrossTower believes there will be a significant uptick in crypto within India is that, globally, the adoption of crypto has accelerated past that of the Internet in its short lifespan. 

“It took the internet approximately 7.5 years to go from around 100 million users to 1 billion users, whereas Visualize Bitcoin expects adoption from 100 million to 1 billion users operating accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges to take roughly 4 years,” CrossTower wrote in its report. 

The report also cites India’s relatively young, tech-savvy and entrepreneurial population as a reason for the optimistic projections. Currently, CrossTower says, there are over 230 digital asset startup companies in India and over 150 projects and proof of concepts have been deployed. The report cites data from GlobalData which shows that across India $270 million of VC capital has been deployed to crypto projects. 

CrossTower also thinks that the Reserve Bank of India’s CBDC effort will complement the development of digital assets as a whole.

“CBDCs will likely coexist with the most popular digital assets, but could replace those whose roles they make redundant, such as stablecoins,” they wrote. “As India looks to the future, embracing digital asset technologies and applications stands to not only drive economic gains, but also ensure India stays on the forefront of the transition from cash to digital currencies.”

The report from CrossTower was sponsored by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

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