Crypto Exchange Coinbase Halts Service in India Due to Informal Pressure From Central Bank RBI – A few days after starting, the Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase stopped operations in India, according to CEO Brian Armstrong, as a result of “informal pressure” from the Reserve Bank of India.
During the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, Coinbase Global gave an update on its Indian operation, including why it quit the Indian crypto market just days after its inception.
“Some shareholders are concerned about the recent developments in India,” said Anil Gupta, vice president of Investor Relations at Coinbase. Can you explain why Unified Payments Interface transfers have been halted there? And what effect will that have on your market expansion plans?”
On April 7, Coinbase became available in India. For the launch, Armstrong traveled to India. Users could buy cryptocurrencies on the platform using the UPI system, according to the business at the time. A few days later, the business deactivated the UPI option.
“In India, people are particularly interested in cryptocurrencies.” As a result, we had a UPI interface. During the earnings call, Armstrong noted, “And this was a great example of just our international strategy.”
“We had to disable UPI a few days after it began owing to some unofficial pressure from India’s Treasury equivalent, the Reserve Bank of India.”
“And India is a unique market because of how the supreme court has ruled that they can’t ban crypto,” the Coinbase CEO explained.
The RBI’s actions have been dubbed a “shadow ban” by the media, according to Armstrong. “Basically, they’re employing mild pressure behind the scenes to try to restrict some of these payments that may be occurring via UPI,” he explained.
“I guess we have a fear that they may be in breach of the supreme court order,” the Coinbase executive continued, “which would be interesting to discover if it were to go there.”
“However,” he concluded, “I believe our aim is to simply work with them and concentrate on relaunching.” I believe there are other avenues that need to be relaunched with alternative payment methods. And it will be the default moving forward.
“My goal is to return to India in a short time, as well as to a number of other countries where we are seeking international expansion in the same way.”