Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange giant, has clarified its position on its ongoing operations in India. This clarification comes on the heels of recent emails sent to select Indian users, warning them to transfer their funds before September 25th.
Contrary to rumors of a complete cessation of services in the country, Coinbase’s move appears to be much more nuanced. “We stopped allowing new user sign-ups on our exchange product in India back in June of this year. We maintain a robust tech hub in the country and offer live products, including our Coinbase Wallet. We are committed to India over the long term and continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market,” a Coinbase spokesperson stated in an email to TechCrunch.
Since its Indian launch on April 7, 2022, Coinbase has had a bumpy ride navigating the regulatory maze in the country. Within a mere four days of its launch, the company had to suspend its UPI (United Payments Interface) payment services for Indian users. This has led to users resorting to peer-to-peer trading to transact existing crypto assets. “The Reserve Bank of India’s informal pressure has been a significant hurdle,” said Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s CEO.
As Coinbase grapples with the complexities of the Indian market, the global cryptocurrency landscape is also undergoing a shift. The recent G20 Leaders’ Declaration stresses international cooperation for regulating crypto-assets.
India’s potential as a burgeoning market for crypto is immense, despite regulatory uncertainties. Coinbase’s investments in Indian crypto exchanges CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber also demonstrate their interest in a long-term presence in India.
With fewer than 50,000 monthly active users in India, according to Sensor Tower data, Coinbase may not yet be a dominant player in the Indian market, but its influence among crypto enthusiasts remains high. The company’s challenges with local authorities and officials have been a point of frustration but have not deterred them from their long-term vision.
As the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency continues to evolve both globally and within India, all eyes will be on Coinbase and how it navigates these uncharted waters.