Crypto Exchange Coinbase Launches in India – Quickly Runs Into Trouble With UPI Payment System

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Crypto Exchange Coinbase Launches in India – Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, has announced the launch of full-scale crypto trading in India, with support for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). However, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which developed UPI, later said that the system is not being used by any crypto exchange.

At an event in Bengaluru on Thursday, Coinbase, a Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange, revealed that its trading platform will be completely open for retail traders in India.

Customers will be able to purchase cryptocurrencies on Coinbase using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the most extensively used payment mechanism in India, according to the business.

Coinbase started experimenting with UPI payments a few weeks ago. However, the corporation did not reveal the names of its UPI payment banking partners.

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The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) developed UPI, an instant real-time payment system that accounts for 60% of retail payment traffic in India.

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The NPCI is a joint endeavor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, and the Indian Banks’ Association to operate retail payments and settlement systems in India.

NPCI published a statement shortly after Coinbase’s announcement, noting that it is unaware of any cryptocurrency exchanges employing the UPI payment system.

According to the NPCI:

“In view of recent media reports stating that UPI can be used to acquire cryptocurrencies, the National Payments Corporation of India wishes to stress that it is not aware of any cryptocurrency exchange that accepts UPI.”

In May of last year, amid reports that the Indian government may ban cryptocurrencies, the NPCI stated that it will not prohibit cryptocurrency transactions on the UPI system, instead recommending banks to make their own decisions on whether or not to accept UPI through their platforms. Most Indian banks, on the other hand, are wary of working with cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Indian government is working on developing a crypto policy for the country. Cryptocurrency income, on the other hand, is now taxed at 30%, with no loss offsets or deductions available.

The amount of bitcoin trade in India has decreased dramatically after the new tax rules went into effect on April 1. Crypto transactions will be subject to a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) beginning July 1.

While speaking at the event, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, acknowledged the regulatory challenges in India. “We understand that bringing this technology to market will not be easy. “We don’t know how that will turn out,” he remarked.

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Coinbase informed Tech Crunch, “We are focused on working with NPCI and other authorities to ensure we are inline with local expectations and industry norms.”

Armstrong presented his company’s strategy for India on Monday, focused on crypto and Web3. Over 1,000 staff will be hired for Coinbase’s Indian hub as part of the plan. Coindcx and Coinswitch Kuber are two Indian crypto exchanges in which the Nasdaq-listed business has invested.

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