Table of Contents
- Apple Pulls Crypto Exchanges
- Government Crackdown
- Apple's Swift Response
- Offshore Exchanges Face Regulatory Scrutiny
- Indian Traders Flock to Global Platforms
Apple has pulled the apps of major crypto exchanges like Binance, Kraken, OKX, and KuCoin from the App Store In India.
Apple Pulls Crypto Exchanges
In a recent move, Apple has removed the apps of nine major cryptocurrency exchanges, including industry giants like Binance and Kraken, from its App Store in India. This action follows warnings issued by the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND), a government agency responsible for overseeing financial transactions, to these exchanges for alleged non-compliance with India's anti-money laundering rules.
Late last month, FIU-IND raised concerns about the legality of operations by these exchanges in India. On December 28, show cause notices were sent to nine cryptocurrency exchanges - Binance, Kucoin, Houbi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex. The allegations centered around their failure to register and adhere to local tax regulations.
Apple's Swift Response
Responding swiftly to the regulatory warnings, Apple decided to pull the apps of these exchanges from its App Store in India. While this move restricts new users from downloading the apps, existing Indian users who had already installed them can still access and use the applications on their iPhones.
As of now, the apps are still available on the Google Play Store in India, and the exchanges' websites remain accessible. However, there is speculation that Google may follow Apple's lead and remove these apps from its Play Store, given the similar regulatory concerns raised by FIU-IND.
Offshore Exchanges Face Regulatory Scrutiny
The issue of offshore exchanges operating without registration in India surfaced in early December during a session in the Lok Sabha. In response, the finance ministry released a list of 28 registered crypto and virtual digital asset (VDA) platforms complying with anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (CFT) guidelines under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Subsequently, show-cause notices were issued to major offshore platforms, including Binance and Kraken.
Indian Traders Flock to Global Platforms
Amidst regulatory tightening, many Indian traders have shifted to global cryptocurrency platforms, possibly as a strategy to evade taxes. India implemented cryptocurrency taxation last year, imposing a 30% tax on gains and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction. While India-based exchanges continue rigorous know-your-customer verifications, global platforms have not adhered to the same standards.
In other words, Apple's removal of crypto exchange apps from its App Store in India, on top of a heavy taxation regime, reflects the increasing scrutiny and regulatory challenges faced by the cryptocurrency industry in the country.
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