Coinbase halted India services due to RBI's "informal pressure": Armstrong

Coinbase halted India services due to RBI “informal pressure”: CEO

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong admitted in Tuesday’s earnings call that the exchange disabled the unified payments interface (UPI) in India because of the central bank’s “informal pressure.”

See related article: Coinbase snafu sets the cat among the crypto pigeons in India

Fast facts

  • Armstrong’s comments come a month after Coinbase suspended its India services three days after launch. 
  • Despite the Supreme Court overturning the central bank’s crypto banking ban in 2020, there are “elements in the government there, including at Reserve Bank of India (RBI), who don’t seem to be as positive on it,” Armstrong said. 
  • “They’re applying soft pressure behind the scenes to try to disable some of these payments, which might be going through UPI,” he added.
  • Indian exchanges have reported difficulties in accessing banking and payments services due to RBI’s “shadow ban” on the cryptocurrency industry. 
  • Armstrong alleged the RBI may be violating the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling. 
  • Despite the criticism, Armstrong said Coinbase’s preference lies in cooperating with the regulator for a relaunch. 

See related article: Indian e-wallet provider MobiKwik yanks crypto support

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