Coinbase Suspends UPI Services in India Over 'Informal Pressure'
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11 May

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has halted its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) services in India after it had received "some informal pressure" from the Reserve Bank of India, the exchange's head Brian Armstrong said during a recent earnings call.

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As per transcription, the Coinbase CEO said the exchange had noticed the so-called "shadow ban," when the Reserve Bank of India started disabling some of the payments going through UPI. Armstrong added:

"I guess we have a concern that they may be actually in violation of the Supreme Court ruling, which would be interesting to find out if it were to go there. But I think our preference is really just to work with them and focus on relaunching. I think there's a number of path that we have to relaunch with other payment methods there."

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While Armstrong hoped the exchange will be live back in India in "relatively short order," he declined to provide any timetable on the matter. But he also noted that Coinbase is already working along with a number of other countries, where it's pursuing "international expansion similarly."

"I guess just to zoom out for a minute, one of our theories here and my theory is that action produces information. So it's not always clear as we go to these countries all over the world, everybody is in varying states of kind of education or lack thereof about crypto."

In early April, Coinbase suspended support for UPI payments after the National Payments Corporation of India said it wasn't aware of "any crypto exchange using UPI."

The limitations come after the lower house of India's Parliament passed the "Finance Bill" with controversial amendments regarding the taxation of digital assets. Starting from April, traders in India cannot offset losses on one cryptocurrency with gains on another. In addition, the law also provides for a 30% tax on cryptocurrency transactions and 1% fees under taxes deducted at source.

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