The Indian government has cracked down on cryptocurrency activity in recent years.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has revealed that it has suspended trading activity in India due to informal pressure from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The RBI, like many central banks around the world, is tough on cryptocurrency trading. At one point, the RBI banned financial institutions from participating in crypto-related services.
Coinbase launched its service in India on April 7 but reversed its decision three days later. The Coinbase app allows users in India to buy crypto tokens using UPI, a popular Indian payments infrastructure built by a coalition of retail banks in the country.
UPI refused to acknowledge support for the Coinbase app, causing the crypto exchange to reverse its previous decision.
Coinbase CEO Neil Armstrong confirms that informal pressure from RBI was the reason the company stopped its operations in India. She says;
“I guess just to zoom out for a bit, one of our theories here and mine is that actions produce information. So it’s not always clear when we go to these countries around the world, everyone has a different level of education or lack of education about crypto. And there’s a lot of work to be done and meeting with policymakers around the world and explaining to them what AML capabilities are and what their positive benefits are. People in these countries usually really want crypto. And for me, that is to say, most places in the world are free and democratic, crypto will eventually be regulated and legal, but it will take time for them to get comfortable with it.
Despite the challenges, Armstrong said Coinbase will continue to launch in India. He added that the company is currently considering how best to move forward but is committed to launching its operations in the country. He concluded that;
“We will start because it forces the discussion to take place. Now the press is talking about it in India. Now there is a meeting where we will talk about how we will take the next steps. So that’s generally our approach with international expansion.
“Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker.”