Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has reportedly halted new sign-ups from customers in India. This decision comes as the Indian government drafts a bill to ban private cryptocurrencies and establish a framework for an official digital currency. As a result, Coinbase users in India are now unable to create new accounts on the platform. This move reflects the increasing regulatory challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country.
Coinbase Halts New Sign-ups in India, but Remains Committed to the Market
Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, has recently disabled new customer sign-ups on its platform in India, according to a report by TechCrunch. The company, however, expressed its commitment to the Asian country despite rumors of a possible withdrawal from the local market.
In June of this year, Coinbase prohibited new user sign-ups on its exchange product in India. A spokesperson from the firm stated that they maintain a strong presence in the country with a robust tech hub and various live products, such as the Coinbase Wallet. The company is dedicated to the Indian market over the long term and continues to explore ways to strengthen its presence.
Coinbase launched its operations in India in April last year, allowing clients to engage in trading services utilizing the local Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment system. However, the management team of UPI failed to acknowledge Coinbase’s expansion into India, resulting in Coinbase terminating support for the settlement instrument shortly after.
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has criticized the Indian central bank’s stance towards cryptocurrencies over the past year. While digital asset trading is not illegal in India, there are elements within the government, including the Reserve Bank of India, that have shown less optimism towards cryptocurrencies. Armstrong described these actions as a “shadow ban,” whereby soft pressure is applied behind the scenes to disable crypto payments going through UPI.
In May of this year, various Indian advocacy groups called on the government to restore the use of UPI for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The Bharat Web3 Association (BWA) was also expected to submit a similar proposal.
Apart from facing regulatory challenges in India, Coinbase has also encountered issues with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has launched investigations and accused some cryptocurrencies listed on the platform of being unregistered securities. This year, the SEC issued a Well Notice and filed a lawsuit against Coinbase.
In response to the regulatory challenges in the US, Coinbase made efforts to expand globally. The company established Coinbase International Exchange in Bermuda to serve non-US institutional users. Additionally, Coinbase launched crypto lending services and expanded its position in the US market.
In conclusion, while Coinbase has disabled new sign-ups in India, it remains committed to the market and continues to explore opportunities to strengthen its presence. The company has faced regulatory challenges not only in India but also in its home country of the United States. Despite these challenges, Coinbase has taken steps to expand globally and offer innovative services to its users.