Binance, Kucoin, and Others Face Website Blockade
India took decisive action on January 12, blocking access to the websites of several offshore crypto exchanges, such as Binance, Kucoin, OKX, and Gate.io. This move followed the removal of these platforms from the Apple App Store in the country just days earlier.
Show-Cause Notices and Non-Compliance Allegations
The Finance Ministry had issued show-cause notices on December 28, accusing Binance, Kucoin, Houbi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex of operating illegally in India. The allegations focused on the platforms’ failure to register and adhere to local tax regulations.
Finance Ministry Instructs Website Blockade
Responding to the alleged violations, the finance ministry instructed the information technology ministry to block the URLs of these platforms, resulting in the recent website restrictions. However, users can still access these exchanges through VPNs.
Binance Addresses Concerns and Reassures Users
In response to the situation, Binance reached out to its Indian users via email, clarifying that the restriction only affects those attempting to access the Indian iOS app store or the Binance website from India. Existing users with the Binance app are reportedly unaffected.
Binance reiterated its commitment to compliance with local regulations, emphasizing active communication with regulators to ensure user protection and contribute to the development of a healthy Web3 industry. The platform assured users that their funds are secure and encouraged them to reach out on Twitter via direct messages.
Indian Exchanges Report Increased Deposits Amidst Crackdown
Amidst the broader crackdown on offshore exchanges, Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX’s CEO, Sumit Gupta, reported a significant surge in deposits. Since the finance ministry’s show-cause notice on December 28, CoinDCX observed a 2000% increase in user deposits. Gupta highlighted the exchange’s efforts to support investors returning to FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) compliant exchanges, prioritizing a safe and seamless experience for users.
As regulatory actions unfold, the crypto industry in India is navigating challenges, with users and platforms adapting to the evolving landscape. Stay tuned for updates on this developing situation.