Coinbase disables new user sign-ups in India

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has temporarily disabled new user sign-ups in India. As one of the leading platforms in the crypto market, Coinbase has gained immense popularity due to its user-friendly interface and extensive range of supported cryptocurrencies. However, the recent decision to temporarily halt new user registrations in India is to ensure the company can meet the exponential demand and provide high-quality service to existing users. While this move may cause disappointment among potential Indian users, it emphasizes Coinbase’s commitment to maintaining a seamless and efficient platform for its customers.

Coinbase, the renowned global cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced its decision to disable new user sign-ups on its exchange platform in India starting from June. This move comes as Coinbase expands its presence in South Asia, where it faces certain regulatory hurdles. The exchange has set September 25, 2023, as the official closure date, urging users to withdraw their entire balances by then.

To facilitate this transition, Coinbase has deactivated Indian users’ accounts and directed them to download the Coinbase Wallet. Additionally, Coinbase has invested in prime Indian crypto exchanges such as CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber. According to Sensor Tower’s data, Coinbase currently has fewer than 50,000 users in India, as reported by the Economic Times’ Indian press.

The decision to cease operations in India follows persistent challenges faced by Coinbase over the past one and a half years while attempting to reintroduce its services in the country. The exchange has encountered several clashes with Indian authorities, resulting in the departure of two senior executives, including Durgesh Kaushik, the former Senior Director for Market Expansion.

Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, visited India in 2022 with the intention of introducing the exchange’s services and supporting the UPI payment scheme. However, this move did not sit well with UPI, leading to Coinbase withdrawing its support. Armstrong cited the Reserve Bank of India’s subtle insistence as the reason behind ceasing commercial activities in the country. He clarified that cryptocurrency trading is not illegal in India, but the authorities have not shown a strong inclination to embrace it or establish clear regulations.

The Indian authorities have displayed caution towards cryptocurrencies for the past five years, seeking guidance and collaboration with global initiatives. In line with this, the G20 countries released a Leader’s Declaration advocating for increased regulatory measures and control over crypto assets and markets, supporting the recommendations proposed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

Coinbase has urged the FSB and other relevant regulatory bodies to promptly implement these recommendations. The company agrees with the FSB’s proposed crypto asset strategy and the IMF-FSB Synthesis Paper, which outline the need for a comprehensive policy and regulatory framework. Coinbase acknowledges the associated risks in emerging markets and expanding economies, emphasizing the importance of implementing FAFT benchmarks to address money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In conclusion, Coinbase’s decision to disable new user sign-ups in India reflects the challenges it has faced in navigating the local regulatory landscape. With the closure date set for September 25, 2023, Coinbase is advising its Indian users to withdraw their funds before that time. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Indian authorities will approach the regulation of digital assets in the future.

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