The leading cryptocurrency exchange – Coinbase – has reportedly disabled new customer sign-ups on its platform in India.
However, the company remains committed to the Asian country despite the recent rumors that it might pull out of the local market.
According to a TechCrunch report, Coinbase has prohibited new sign-ups in India in June this year. A spokesperson of the firm shed more detail:
“We stopped allowing new user sign-ups on our exchange product in India back in June of this year. We maintain a robust tech hub in the country and offer live products, including our Coinbase Wallet. We are committed to India over the long term and continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market.”
The platform launched operations in India in April last year, enabling clients to engage in trading services using the local Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment system. Nonetheless, the latter’s management team refused to acknowledge Coinbase’s expansion into India, prompting the marketplace to terminate support for the settlement instrument a few days later.
Brian Armstrong (CEO of the exchange) has criticized the stance that the central bank of India has shown towards cryptocurrencies over the past year. He noted that trading with digital assets is not illegal in the nation, but there are “elements in the government there, including at Reserve Bank of India, who don’t seem to be as positive on it.”
“And so they — in the press, it’s been called a ‘shadow ban,’ basically, they’re applying soft pressure behind the scenes to try to disable some of these payments, which might be going through UPI,” the exec added.
As CryptoPotato reported in May this year, some Indian advocacy groups have urged the domestic government to restore the use of UPI for cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. India’s Bharat Web3 Association (BWA) was also expected to submit a similar proposal.
Apart from coping with regulatory challenges in India, the trading venue has also been battling watchdogs in its homeland – the United States.
Its main problems have been caused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which launched an investigation in 2022, accusing that some cryptocurrencies listed on the platform are unregistered securities. It doubled down with more attacks this year, issuing a Well Notice and a lawsuit against Coinbase.
Unsurprisingly, the platform took some steps to expand globally following the issues with the American watchdogs. It set eyes on Europe (specifically, the United Kingdom) and launched Coinbase International Exchange, an entity based in Bermuda that serves non-US institutional users.
As reported last week, the company started strengthening its position in the US, too, by offering crypto loans to local investors. Prime customers have supposedly distributed almost $60 million in the lending program.
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