Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange discontinued India operations because of “unofficial pressure” from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), company CEO Brian Armstrong has acknowledged.
The US-based exchange banned payments via the universal payments interface (UPI) method on its application in India last month.
Brian Armstrong, the CEO, stated that the business suspended the UPI “due to some unofficial push from Reserve Bank of India.”
The Nasdaq-listed business introduced its eponymous cryptocurrency trading platform in India to considerable excitement on April 7. The software enables users in the world’s second-largest marketplace to acquire crypto tokens via UPI, a massively popular Indian payments system established by a consortium of retail banks. But barely three days after the introduction, the corporation pulled back the program without explaining.
“So a few days 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,” said Armstrong at the company’s earnings call to discuss the first quarter financial results.
“India is indeed an unusual market, in the fact that Supreme Court has ruled that they can’t restrict crypto; however, there are elements in the government there, particularly at the RBI, who just don’t seem to be as favorable on it,” Brian continued, replying to a query on what had transpired in India.
The income plummeted 27 % to $1.17 billion, dropping from $1.6 million in the first half of 2021. A further 19 percent cut monthly users to 9.2 million as the worldwide crypto market went through the mayhem.
Furthermore, in India, The goods and services tax (GST) cabinet allegedly weighs a 28 percent tax on cryptocurrencies. The Finance ministry has already imposed a 30 percent tax on income derived from the exchange of digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Reserve Bank of India had already prohibited cryptocurrencies — a ruling upheld by the nation’s supreme court almost two years ago — but the central bank continues to push banks from participating in cryptocurrency exchanges informally.
Armstrong stated that the RBI’s decision “may be genuinely in breach of the Supreme Court order, which would also be interesting to discover if it were to get there.” But, the CEO inclines to cooperate with the bank instead of tackling it and focusing on restarting Coinbase in India.
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