Jignesh Shah’s 63Moons announces a comeback with Blockchain, cryptocurrency foray

“Tiger Abhi Zinda Hain (Tiger is alive). ” Jignesh Shah, the founder promoter of 63Moons Technologies, with a penchant for Bollywood dialogues rattled off this Salman Khan one-liner in a cryptic WhatsApp message sometime in October this year to his close friends and well wishers. The message was followed up by a phone call and in just 10 minutes Shah received commitment of more than ₹150 crore for his new venture to create an ecosystem for blockchain technology and crypto currencies in India. On Monday, 63Moons Technologies released advertisement in leading newspapers announcing the launch of CryptoTV, CryptoWire (two crypto and blockchain related news and analysis providers) and Crypto University, which will teach about the blockchain ecosystem in collaboration with global B’schools such as MIT, Bassel and IIT in India.

“We are neither an exchange nor a crypto currency,” says a caveat by 63Moons in the advertisement.

According to those close to Shah, he has decided to never return to the exchange space since Financial Technologies (the erstwhile name of 63Moons Technologies) was forced to liquidate its holding in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and another stock exchange following the NSEL fiasco. The Supreme Court (SC) in its judgement of May 2019 gave a new lease of life to 63Moons Technologies by declaring that in recommending the merger of 63Moons with NSEL, the Forwards Market Commission (erstwhile commodity markets regulator that got merged with SEBI) was catering to ‘private interests and a group of traders / investors’ distinct from public interest.

Tickerplant raises ₹81 crore

On December 3, 63Moons declared in a notice to stock exchanges that its subsidiary Tickerplant had raised ₹81 crore by selling 27 crore shares to investors at ₹3 each. Tickerplant is among the group’s old companies that provided stock exchange quotes and data to brokers. It had also ventured into wire news services, a division which was sold to a global wire news agency.

Following the announcement of entry into the frenzied world of blockchain and crypto currencies, the share price of 63Moons was locked in a 5 per cent upper circuit and was trading at ₹127.90 on the BSE the NSE on Monday. The same had crashed from a peak of ₹1000 in 2012 to a low of ₹50 in 2013 as the group came under a siege. On Monday, 63Moons had a market capitalisation of ₹589 crore.

Since Tickerplant’s notice to stock exchanges, it was believed that 63Moons would launch its own crypto exchange or a currency but nobody knows the group’s plan for now and Shah has told his senior management that he would not be involved in day to day activities, sources said. Government will present a bill in the Parliament this week to reveal its roadmap for regulating blockchain and trading of crypto currencies in India. Unconfirmed news reports have suggested that government could appoint SEBI has a regulator for crypto trading platforms.

“The plan seems more like to get deeper into research and build ecosystem for blockchain business. It is similar to what Shah did in the late 1990s by pioneering ODIN, the software that allowed brokers to trade two exchanges NSE and BSE on a single screen without any tech glitches. Shah’s idea of ODIN came from his experience of working at BSE. The impression now is that 63Moons is involved in research for various uses of blockchain technology and will replicate it in the same manner like it did with ODIN,” said one of the high-net worth investors who received the investment proposal.