India’s strict policy on cryptocurrencies is causing a multitude of blockchain and crypto companies to move abroad. The latest to do so is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the country, Zebpay. They were the largest exchange in terms of trading volume and they are moving their operations to Malta. They currently also have an office in Singapore.
As a result of this move, they will be able to target European countries, which will equal approximately 20 eligible nations. They will no longer service the Indian market.
The countries they can now target include Malta, Sweden, Slovenia, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, Latvia, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Belgium.
About half of the crypto investors in India were suing Zebpay for their trading services.
Reasons for the Move to Malta
The main reason why Zebpay is making this move to Malta is due to the Indian central banks’ policies on cryptocurrencies. They recently banned financial institutions in the country from conducting business with companies in the crypto space.
This, of course, is a major issue for the crypto exchange. It means that Indian customers could no longer use their bank accounts to add or withdraw fiat funds. Since the implementation of the ban, the trading volume of crypto are plummeting. This decision necessitated the move to Malta to ensure the company’s survival.
Talking about this ban, Zebpay said: “The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customers’, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities.”
Thoughts on the Ban in India
At one stage during the end of 2017, there were 300,000 new customers signing up to the leading exchanges each month. This figure is now around the 25,000 mark. There has been discussions between the exchanges and government officials since the announcement of the ban. However, nothing really came of these talks leading to the relocation to Malta.
This led to legal action against the country’s central bank. The case now in the Supreme Court where the hearing is currently ongoing. The government also plans to launch regulations for the crypto sector, but there has been substantial delays. This was a coalition of members of the finance ministry, the central bank and the securities regulators in the country.
Therefore, crypto exchanges are leaving the country en masse. They are relocating to regions where crypto is acceptable and welcomed, such as Dubai, Malta, Australia, Singapore, Estonia and Switzerland.
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