Crypto Exchange Binance, Kraken Removed from Indian Apple App Store Amidst Regulatory Action
Binance, Kraken and others were removed from Indian Apple App Store due to non-compliance with FIU IND’s anti-money laundering rules.
Major cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, Kucoin, Kraken and MEXC were removed from the Apple App Store in India. This action followed the decision of the Indian government agency Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU IND) to block their websites due to non-compliance with India’s anti-money laundering rules announced two weeks ago.
FIU IND has assigned the task of implementing the blockings to India’s Ministry of Information Technology (MEIT).
Other exchanges, including Huobi, Gate.io, Bittrex and Bitfinex also had their apps removed. However, Bitstamp, another exchange identified by FIU, remains operational on the App Store in India. Moreover, the crypto apps are still available on Google Play Store in India, and their websites remain accessible in the country.
FIU IND recently announced the intention to block the internet addresses of nine exchanges earlier due to their non-compliance with the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Act and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) framework in the country.
FIU IND’s firm stance on cryptocurrency exchanges highlights the authorities’ concerns regarding potential risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions, emphasizing the government’s commitment to addressing regulatory issues and establishing enhanced oversight within the crypto sector.
India’s Challenging Cryptocurrency Landscape
India has traditionally maintained a tough approach towards cryptocurrencies and the firms enabling their trading. The Reserve Bank of India imposed a ban on cryptocurrencies in the country five years ago.
Although this ban was eventually struck down by India’s Supreme Court, the central bank has continued to advocate for the prohibition of cryptocurrencies.
India also initiated the taxation of virtual currencies last year, imposing a 30% tax on gains and a 1% deduction on each cryptocurrency transaction. In response to this, numerous Indian traders have shifted to global cryptocurrency platforms as a means to avoid taxes.
Although the country hosts local cryptocurrency exchanges, including a16z-backed CoinSwitch Kuber, B Capital-backed CoinDCX and former Binance-partner WazirX — these platforms maintain a requirement for rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) verifications before onboarding new users, a practice not consistently observed by many global platforms.
Last year, global cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase ceased onboarding new customers in India due to informal pressure from the Central Bank in India. The country’s regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies remains complex, highlighting the government’s concerns about the ongoing efforts of the cryptocurrency sector to evolve in the country.
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