Surojit Chatterjee is the chief product officer of Coinbase, one of the largest and most established crypto exchanges in the world. He recently emerged at a conference talking about India’s recent decision to implement a custom it first began roughly four years ago. It appears all banks in India are once again pulling support for crypto payments.
India and Crypto… A Complicated Relationship
This is very similar to what occurred in 2018. At that time, all banks in India were banned from doing any sort of business with crypto and blockchain firms. While they weren’t necessarily bringing an end to all crypto activity (this was widely reported as an all-out crypto ban in the nation), banks could not provide accounts or any other tools or services to businesses working in the crypto space.
Now, the situation appears to be moving in the same direction. Coinbase says it is no longer supporting rupee-based transfers on its platform, and customers in India have no way of funding their accounts. In a statement, a Coinbase spokesperson announced:
We are committed to working with NPCI and other relevant authorities to ensure we are aligned with local expectations and industry norms.
Since Coinbase, at least four other separate crypto institutions have done the same. They have either halted all rupee transfers or pulled support for the fiat currency, claiming that banks in the area are no longer supporting digital currency systems.
It would all seem that this is part of the ongoing fight in India against crypto. It has become apparent that the nation isn’t too sure what it wants to do with crypto or what its real reactions are to the growing space. There is a constant argument about whether the space should be given any real presence in the world of India’s finances.
Not long after crypto support from banks ended in India in 2018, the Supreme Court for the nation got involved and decided that the move was unconstitutional. The law was then reversed, and it looked like the country was going to be a major trading hub of the world, though this clearly hasn’t been the case. Now, regulators in the nation have sought to implement a full-on ban that would see people in India experience fines and even prison time for taking part in crypto trades.
While this hasn’t been cemented in stone yet, many prominent crypto exchanges in India have seen trading volumes drop dramatically in this time. For example, Wazir X – one of the nation’s most popular crypto platforms – has seen trading volumes drop by more than 90 percent since last October.
Support Soon Ended After That
Vikram Subburaj – chief executive of crypto exchange Giottus – explained in an interview:
After the Coinbase announcement, whoever was providing support to the industry has withdrawn support.