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India Could See Return of Four Offshore Crypto Platforms

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
India Crypto

India’s financial watchdog, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), is reportedly getting renewed interest from offshore crypto exchanges.

Local outlet Business Standard reported Friday that four additional offshore exchanges have requested permission to operate in India.

It comes after Binance and KuCoin were authorized to operate in India again after getting approval from the financial regulator. These two exchanges were previously banned, with KuCoin facing a fine of $34.5 lakh ($41,282) and Binance a reported $2m penalty.

“We expect them to go live very soon,” the official said. They did not reveal the identities of the four new applicants.

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India currently has 46 registered crypto entities, and that number is expected to jump to 48 with Kucoin and Binance’s approvals.

A group of others were banned last year, including Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex. This hurt the Indian crypto industry, pushing many users to trade on foreign exchanges instead.

Binance recently stopped allowing cash payments for cryptocurrency trades between users in India. This move aims to comply with regulations and improve its reputation in the Indian market, even though it restricts a previously offered way to pay (cash vs bank transfer) for crypto.

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India has been taking steps to bring the crypto industry under its financial umbrella. Last year, the government mandated cryptocurrency companies to collect Know Your Customer (KYC) data and register with the FIU.

These regulations apply to all Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) operating in India, regardless of their physical location. By requiring FIU registration and compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), India aims to integrate the crypto sector with the existing financial system and establish a framework for monitoring and regulation.

Narendra Modi, who has been re-elected for a third term with coalition support, reappointed the same finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This decision drew mixed reactions from the crypto community, as the official holds the view that cryptocurrencies cannot function as actual currencies. However, she has called for international cooperation in crypto policies.