No more Bitcoin! Coinbase suspends crypto payments in India

Not know ! Coinbase begins its adventure in India with turbulence that does not seem to bother its customers. The stock market is concretely confronted with the aversion of certain authorities in the country against cryptocurrencies.

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Coinbase in India: an unsurprising suspension

Three days after its launch in India, Coinbase deactivated payment services via the Unified Payment InterfaceUnited Payment Interface (UPI). The latter facilitates the placing of purchase orders on the stock exchange in India. It is run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a special division of the Indian central bank.

Indian users of the exchange are welcome to try Instant Payment Services – Immediate Payment Service (IMP) – to place their sell orders.

This suspension of services provided by UPI would apparently be due to regulatory concerns. Coinbase has indeed declared that it is committed “to working with the NPCI and other competent authorities”. This collaboration would aim to “ensure” that the exchange is aligned “with local expectations and industry standards”. The NPCI had also denied on April 7, 2022, having “knowledge of a crypto exchange using UPI”.

These issues, however, do not seem to surprise Coinbase customers in India. The co-founder of the Crypto India YouTube channel, Aditya Singh, thus indicated in his tweet of April 10, 2022, that:

“This is not new, Indian exchanges have also been facing payment service issues since 2018.”

This suspension of UPI services is not all the more surprising, given the the hostility of certain authorities in the countrytowards cryptocurrencies. The governor of the Indian central bank, T. Rabi Sankar, compared in February 2022, cryptocurrencies to a ponzi scheme. He then claimed that banning cryptocurrencies would be the “wisest choice” for the Indian government.

He argued that “it is not possible to regulate” cryptocurrencies, as they cannot be legally defined as a “currency, asset or commodity”.

Coinbase therefore suffers from the ambiguous position of the Indian government, legislators and regulators regarding cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC) and his cadets are welcome to fill the state coffers. The Indian central bank does not want to roll out the red carpet for them.

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