Coinbase halted trading service in India due to “informal pressure” from RBI

The Nasdaq cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has revealed that it stopped operation in India a few days after its launch due to "informal pressure" from the country's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says CEO Brian Armstrong.  

Coinbase halted trading service in India due to “informal pressure” from RBI

Coinbase revised its Indian operation during the Company's earnings call Tuesday, particularly why it exited the Indian Crypto market a few days after its launch. 

Anil Gupta, vice president of investor Relations at Coinbase asked CEO Brian Armstong "Some shareholders" are curious about the recent developments in India. Can you explain the halting of UPI transfers there and what impact will that have on your expansion plans in the market?

Coinbase launched in India on April 7. Armstrong went to India for the launch. The company stated at the time that users could use the UPI system to buy cryptocurrencies on the platform. However, the company disabled the UPI option a few days later. 

There's a lot of interest in crypto amongst the people there in India so we had an integration with what's called UPI and this was a great example of just our international strategy, Armstrong said during the earnings call. He explained. 

"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."

"India is a unique market in the sense that the supreme court has ruled that they can't ban crypto, but there are elements in the government there including at Reserve Bank of India. who doesn't seem to be as positive about it? the Coinbase boss opined"

Armstrong noted that what the RBI is doing has been defined as a "shadow ban" by the media. "They're applying soft pressure behind the scenes to try to disable some of these payments, which may be going through UPI"

Coinbase executive further said: "I guess have a concern that they might be actually in violation of the supreme court ruling, which would be interesting to find out if it were to go here."

Also said He continued: "But I think our intention is just to work with them and focus on relaunching I think there are several paths that we have to relaunch with other payment methods there. And that's the default path going forward"

"I hope that we will be live back in India in relatively short order, along with several other countries, where we’re pursuing international expansion similarly."

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