India’s central bank halts payments due to ‘unofficial pressure’: Coinbase CEO


US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase abruptly stopped using United Payments Interface (UPI), the region’s most popular payment service, just three days after it entered the Indian market. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong later revealed that the service disruption was due to “unofficial pressure” from the central bank of India.

In Coinbase’s 2022 quarterly earnings release, Armstrong said: fat While discussing the company’s plans for global expansion, we acknowledge Coinbase’s role in launching a dialogue with regulators regarding crypto adoption. When asked about the impact of a recent payment disruption in India, Armstrong said:

“So, a few days after launch, we were forced to disable UPI because of unofficial pressure from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on par with the Treasury.”

Emphasizing the March 2020 Supreme Court ruling that banned the RBI from banning banks from trading cryptocurrency businesses, Armstrong warned that certain government agencies, including the RBI, “are not likely to be positive about this.”

The CEO revealed Coinbase’s aggressive strategy for international expansion, which includes launching services in new jurisdictions and working with regulators based on their response to Coinbase’s presence in those regions. Armstrong highlighted India’s attempt to impose a shadow ban on the crypto business, adding:

“Basically, they are putting soft pressure behind the scenes to disable some of these payments that can cross the UPI. In fact, there seems to be a concern that it may violate the Supreme Court ruling.”

Despite obvious regulatory hurdles, Coinbase is preparing for a relaunch in the region by introducing other payment methods to meet the high demand from crypto investors. Armstrong concluded:

“In the free world and most of the democracies, cryptocurrencies will eventually be regulated and legalized. And the way we move the conversation forward is by taking action.”

On April 1st, India introduced the first cryptocurrency law requiring cryptocurrency investors to pay a 30% tax on unrealized cryptocurrency profits. However, the move has had a negative impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem as trading volume plummets and in-house businesses move to more friendly jurisdictions.

Relevant: Binance Raises Crypto and Blockchain Awareness Among Indian Investors

Keeping an eye on the same pool of untapped markets, cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched three major educational initiatives to quickly educate Indian investors and students about the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem.

Along with the announcement, Binance emphasized that a lack of education among Indian regulators and policymakers is currently hindering widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies.

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