On April 7, Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, announced to the world that they would begin operations in India. It went further to state that their users would be able to purchase cryptocurrencies using the Unified Payment Interface system (UPI) used in the country. This was great news for so many people who have been waiting for the company to take this huge step. The cheers and celebrations didn’t last for long because almost as soon as it was announced, it became marred in a controversy. Which has led to the suspension of Coinbase’s operation.
What Caused the Controversy?
India’s regulatory body the National Payment Corporation of India is at the helm of giving out approvals for transactions in the country. They also handle the Unified Payment Interface in India. Shortly after the announcement by the US based Coinbase of its arrival in India, NPCI released a statement stating that they are not aware of any “crypto exchange using UPI.”
This brought along a lot of confusion because if the regulatory body is not aware of the operation, then why was Coinbase’s announcement made?
Soon after the comments from the NPCI, Coinbase released a statement informing the public that they have temporarily suspended their operation in the country. They stated that purchases using the Unified Payment Interface are “temporarily unavailable.”
Reports indicate that the world’s largest crypto trading platform reached out to the NPCI to sort things out. While this seems like a logical step to take, it may not yield the desired result. This may have to do with the fact that Coinbase deals in Cryptocurrency which is not a legal tender in India. The NPCI would only back and approve companies that deal in legally recognized entities.
Coinbase’s Response to the Controversy
They have already begun talks with the NPCI, hopefully they would be able to come to agreements on terms that would see the company begin operations in India. If both parties settle soon, it means that operations would begin sooner rather than later.
In their statement released, the company made it clear that for their expansion into the Indian market, they would be experimenting with multiple payment methods including the controversial UPI, which they describe as an easy to use and rapid system for payment. They added that the multiple payment methods are to ensure that their users experience topnotch and satisfactory services when using their platform for crypto purchases.
The company has also stated that they have been in the process of preparing Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs to further enrich the user experience of their platform.
What Should We Expect?
Since there hasn’t been any statement by any of the parties involving claiming that the proposed operation in India has been scrapped. It’s safe to assume that there is a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure that all the legal aspects are looked into and things are settled amicably and soon. Users should expect more details in the coming days from both parties.