Apple’s App Store in India has blocked Binance, KuCoin, Bitget, Huobi, OKX, Gate.io and MEXC crypto exchange apps weeks after the Indian government issued a noncompliance notice against nearly a dozen off-shore crypto exchanges. These exchange applications are no longer accessible to new users in India.
On Dec. 28, 2023, the Indian Ministry of Finance’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued a notice to Binance, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, KuCoin, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, Bittrex and Bitfinex for illegally operating in India.
The FIU notice said that any exchange offering services to Indian users must register as a “reporting entity” and file statements with the income tax department. The FIU had recommended that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology block the mentioned exchanges’ websites for noncompliance.
Although Apple’s App Store blocks the FIU-notified crypto exchanges, these are still available on Google’s Play Store and web versions.
Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX founder Sumit Gupta took to X (formerly Twitter) to share his thoughts on the recent ban on foreign crypto exchanges. He shared a plan for investors looking to transition from noncompliant offshore exchanges to compliant Indian exchanges.
[Community Update] Amidst the changing landscape of Indian VDA, where offshore exchange apps are now facing restrictions due to government directives, CoinDCX acknowledges the community’s apprehensions. This is a defining moment for VDA in India, and we’re dedicated to… pic.twitter.com/uTpxGqsHk0
— Sumit Gupta (CoinDCX) (@smtgpt) January 10, 2024
After India imposed a 30% tax on crypto and a 1% tax deduction at source for every crypto trade, the volume on crypto exchanges plunged, and Indian users rushed toward foreign crypto exchanges to avoid the hefty tax regime. Thus, the latest action would now prohibit the use of foreign exchanges.
The recent action from the Indian government comes amid a growing demand for regulations. During the recently concluded Group of 20, or G20, summit, the Indian government called for global collaboration on the crypto regulatory front. The Indian crypto community has long been calling for a balanced crypto regulatory framework, but despite several reassurances, the Indian finance ministry has yet to table a crypto bill in the parliament.
Binance’s Asia-focused X handle posted a tweet indicating they are aware of the app blockage in India but assured existing users won’t be impacted.
We are aware of new changes that have been introduced regarding crypto exchanges on the iOS App Store in India, impacting the Binance App.
The ongoing situation is not unique to #Binance and we remain committed to complying with local regulations and maintaining dialogue with…
— Binance South Asia (@BinanceDesi) January 10, 2024
Binance, OKX and KuCoin have not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.