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Global Crypto Exchange Coinbase Debuts Crypto Trading In India

Global Crypto Exchange Coinbase Debuts Crypto Trading In India

Coinbase has been adding support from homegrown digital payment gateway UPI in India to make its exchange functional

Coinbase has begun rolling out UPI and IMPS support for its users in India after users noticed the addition of the two payment systems – UPI & IMPS – on Coinbase’s app

Coinbase is also planning to ramp up tech hiring and investments in India

Global crypto exchange Coinbase has debuted crypto trading in India. It has been adding support from homegrown digital payment instrument UPI. 

Coinbase has made an official launch in India in its maiden event on April 7, 2022. 

Nasdaq-listed Coinbase has started testing UPI payments a few weeks ago, indicating that it is working to broaden its product offerings in the country. 

On March 26, Inc42 reported that Coinbase has begun rolling out UPI and IMPS support for its users in India after Indian users noticed the addition of the two payment systems (UPI & IMPS) on Coinbase’s app.

Even as it became evident that Coinbase had, indeed, begun adding the payments option on its apps, and today the company made it official through an announcement, the scale of the rollout still remains unclear. 

Meanwhile, Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong a few days back said his company is planning to ramp up tech hiring and investments in India. 

“Coinbase Ventures has already invested $150 Mn in home-grown Indian technology companies in the crypto and web3 space, and is constantly identifying new opportunities to help Indian founders scale,” Armstrong said in his company blog post on April 4, 2022.

Its corporate venture arm Coinbase Ventures has backed crypto unicorns – CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber.

“Coinbase’s Indian tech hub was launched last year and already has over 300 full-time employees across India’s state and regions. We are excited to tap into the dynamic Indian software talent to build out our products and will continue to invest heavily in our India hub. We have ambitious plans for India and seek to hire over 1,000 people in our India hub this year alone,” he added.

Moreover, Coinbase did not disclose the names of its banking partners for the UPI payments rollout in India. Majority of banks in India continue to avoid crypto-related transactions, following the Reserve Bank of India’s reservations on the virtual currency.

Further, the central government may not be planning a law to regulate or tighten provisions for cryptocurrencies related transactions. However, a 30% tax on income from trade in cryptocurrencies has come into effect from April 1, 2022. The tax would make it costlier to trade and bring such transactions at par with activities like horse racing and lotteries.

RBI Raised Concerns Over Digital Currencies   

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has openly raised its concerns over private digital currencies, equating them with Ponzi schemes and said they were a threat to financial sovereignty. 

In its Financial Stability Report for December 2021, the central bank said that long term concerns over cryptocurrencies relate to capital flow management, financial and macro-economic stability, monetary policy transmission and currency substitution.

Citing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), RBI said that the virtual asset ecosystem has seen the rise of anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies (AECs), mixers and tumblers, decentralised platforms and exchanges, privacy wallets, and other types of products and services that enable or allow for reduced transparency and increased obfuscation of financial flows. 

SC Quashing RBI Ban On Crypto Trade

Crypto investments have flourished in India after the Supreme Court set aside restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in March 2020. 

The apex court quashed an order by the RBI banning financial services firms from trading in virtual currency or cryptocurrency. The decision came after hearing several petitions challenging RBI’s April 2018 order imposing a ban on financial firms or individuals in India from trading in cryptocurrencies.

The development comes almost two years after trading in virtual currency was banned by the RBI. 

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