Apple has recently made a significant move to remove several cryptocurrency exchanges from its App Store in India.
This decision was made in response to compliance notices issued by the Indian government, particularly the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Finance Ministry.
On December 28, the FIU sent show-cause notices to nine cryptocurrency entities, accusing them of illegal operations for failing to register and comply with local tax regulations.
India’s Regulatory Crackdown on Cryptocurrency
Major platforms like Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex, all mentioned in the FIU's notice, faced removal from the App Store.
Interestingly, even OKX, not directly served with a notice, was removed. Simultaneously, the Indian government is blocking the URLs of these exchanges, showing a comprehensive effort to restrict their operations in the country.
The FIU’s show-cause notice, operating under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), highlights concerns about potential illegal financial activities.
Blocking the URLs is an ongoing process, with future actions depending on how these cryptocurrency entities respond.
We are aware of new changes that have been introduced regarding crypto exchanges on the iOS App Store in India, impacting the Binance App.— Binance South Asia (@BinanceDesi) January 10, 2024
The ongoing situation is not unique to #Binance and we remain committed to complying with local regulations and maintaining dialogue with…
Despite Apple's removal of these apps in India, Google PlayStore still hosts the questioned cryptocurrency exchanges. This inconsistent response from tech giants sparks uncertainty about whether Google PlayStore will also restrict these exchanges, mirroring Apple's actions.
India's Growing Crypto Space and Tax Concerns
This development sheds light on the broader cryptocurrency regulatory scene in India, marked by rising popularity and increased scrutiny.
The government's strong stance reflects worries about tax evasion, especially as more Indian traders embrace popular cryptocurrency platforms.
In a significant move last year, India introduced taxes on virtual currencies, aiming to regulate digital transactions. However, uncertain regulatory policies have consistently caused exchanges to withhold the payments of Indian users every now and then.
This regulatory drive has given rise to India-based crypto exchanges that strictly follow Know Your Customer (KYC) verifications. Platforms like CoinDCX, Kuber, WazirX, and CoinSwitch are thriving in the country.
Interestingly, these exchanges saw a surge in deposits after the Financial Intelligence Unit's actions, according to Cryptopolitan reports.
India Crypto Regulation and Global Impact
India's crypto rules greatly influence the worldwide cryptocurrency scene. As a major crypto player, India's decisions send ripples across borders.
The unclear regulations create suspense, especially given the ever-changing rules. India actively fights tax evasion in crypto, setting an example for other nations to reassess their regulations.
This global connection stresses the importance of a unified and standard approach to crypto rules everywhere. The world watches, anticipating how India's choices will shape the future of cryptocurrency regulations.