Here’s why Coinbase steered away from India

Sahana Kiran
Source – Pixabay

India is home to several crypto platforms. The rising interest in the crypto-verse among Indians seemed to have alerted the government. From immense uncertainty to imposing a 30 percent tax on profits acquired by crypto, the Indian government was vocal about its affliction against crypto.

Despite this, prominent US-based crypto exchange Coinbase decided to veer into the Indian market. However, the exchange wasn’t welcomed as expected. Now, shedding light on its sudden departure from Indian shores, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong underlined the informal pressure it garnered from the country’s central bank.

Coinbase dived into the Indian market back on April 7. Soon after its launch, crypto exchanges were urged to disable UPI payments. This was one of the most extensively employed payment mediums. Adhering to “informal pressure” from the Reserve Bank of India [RBI], Coinbase had to pull the plug on UPI payments. During a recent earnings call, Armstrong elaborated on the same and said,

“After launching, we ended up disabling UPI because of some informal pressure from the Reserve Bank of India, which is kind of the Treasury equivalent there.”

Will the Indian government be the death of crypto in the country?

The exorbitant tax slab and uncertainty surrounding crypto in India will certainly restrict platforms from entering the market. Despite the taxation of the industry, the country’s Finance Minister has assured the community that crypto isn’t legal yet. Further talking about how this, Armstrong added,

“There are elements in the government there (in India), including at the Reserve Bank of India, who don’t seem to be as positive on it (cryptocurrency). And so it’s been called a ‘shadowban.” 

Despite this, the promising nature of the Indian market seems to have kept Armstrong engaged. He revealed that the firm was in touch with the RBI and is even figuring out different payment options.

While Coinbase seems to be adamant about returning to India, several others would find it rather difficult to work amidst a stringent government.