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India’s Exchanges Adapt Around Central Bank Crypto Business Ban

Despite the Indian Supreme Court’s decision not grant interim relief to those affected by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses, some exchanges are operating as normal, according to Coindesk.

RBI’s circular, directing all banks to end existing relationships with crypto exchanges and traders within three months, was due to take effect yesterday. The central bank’s blockade has resulted in several petitions going through the courts claiming that the RBI ruling was unconstitutional and should be stayed as a result.

Indian exchanges have reacted to the current status quo with varying degrees of compliance, with India’s largest exchange Zebpay agreeing to pause Indian rupee (IDR) deposits and withdrawal services until banks allow such transactions in the future. Despite this, the platform claims that its fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading services are still operating as normal, with a USD 5 million trading volume over the past day.

Zebpay CEO Ajeet Khurana Tweeted a promise to work things out:

Am very sad! But we will continue our relentless efforts to get things sorted. I am sure crypto is good for India. If we, as a nation, do not make up our mind, we will be caught on the wrong side of history and miss the crypto bus. And that will be a tragedy.

— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) July 4, 2018

Other exchanges following suit and adhering to the Supreme Court’s decision, such as Coinome and Pexo, have said that they have temporarily suspended fiat deposit and withdrawal services.

However, some exchanges continue to operate the banned services without any legal ramifications, and some have found innovative ways to continue this particular aspect of trading in defiance of the Supreme Court. Bitbns is carrying on its rupee deposit and withdrawal service after today’s deadline, although it is not clear as yet what action the government will take. Another exchange, KoinOK, has taken the same stance.

One strategy that some exchanges are taking to sidestep the RBI is encouraging peer-to-peer trading, thereby cutting out the banks completely. Out of this move, a new service KoinLoop has launched such a service, born out of two collaborating exchanges; KoinEX and WazirX.

WazirX CEO commented, “If banking is something the exchanges are not allowed to do, then the solution is something that direct banking doesn’t come in.”


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