Coinbase says it will not discontinue services in India, but it is disabling subscriptions

Image credits: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Coinbase said Monday it disabled new user registration on its exchange product in India in June, but remains committed to the country, where its operations have been in limbo for more than a year, and issued a rebuttal to media reports, including one at TechCrunch. He said otherwise, citing customer emails.

The US-based cryptocurrency exchange operator said that some customers who did not meet the company’s updated criteria received the emails did not represent Coinbase’s operations in India. The email states that these users have until September 25 to transfer their funds before the company stops exchange services.

“We stopped allowing new user registrations for our exchange product in India in June of this year. We maintain a strong technology center in the country and offer live products, including our Coinbase wallet. We are committed to India for the long term and continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market.”

The eponymous exchange app from Coinbase, which is also an investor in top Indian cryptocurrency exchanges CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber, has less than 50,000 monthly active users in India, according to Sensor Tower data shared by an industry executive.

Coinbase could not make any progress with the local authorities for over a year, when it launched the exchange in India. Progression with local officials has frustrated executives, including Durgesh Kaushik, who joined the company last year as senior manager of market expansion, only to leave months later.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong traveled to India last year to launch the exchange service in the country by adding support for the popular homegrown payment tool UPI.

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However, the payments body that oversees UPI immediately refused to acknowledge Coinbase’s launch in India and days later Coinbase suspended support for the payments system.

Coinbase said at the time that it was committed to working with the NPCI and other relevant authorities and said it was experimenting with other payment methods, something that never materialized.

And in May last year, Armstrong said that Coinbase had to stop its trading service in India due to “informal pressure” from the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank.

Armstrong noted that cryptocurrency trading is not illegal in India — in fact, the South Asian country recently started taxing it — but that there are “elements in the government there, including the Reserve Bank of India, who don’t seem interested in that.” . positively on it. And so they’re — in the press, it’s called a “shadow ban,” and they’re basically doing soft pressure behind the scenes to try to disrupt some of these payments, which would go through UPI.

Over the past five years, Indian authorities have maintained a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing the need for international cooperation to manage these digital assets.

The G20 countries unveiled a Leaders’ Declaration over the weekend stating that the countries endorse the high-level recommendations from the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on regulation, supervision and oversight of the activities and markets of crypto assets and global stable currency arrangements.

“We ask the Financial Stability Board and Sharia Supervisory Boards to promote effective and timely implementation of these recommendations in a consistent manner globally to avoid regulatory arbitrage. We welcome the joint FSB and SSB Action Plan for Crypto Assets. We welcome IMF/Financial Stability Board Synthesis Paper, including the Roadmap, which will support a coordinated and comprehensive policy and regulatory framework taking into account the full range of risks and risks specific to Emerging Markets and Developing Economies (EMDEs) and continued global implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s standards to address money laundering and terrorism. financing risks.

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The story, a previous version of which reported that Coinbase plans to discontinue services in India, citing customer emails, has been fully updated with Coinbase’s statement.

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