Apple’s App Store has recently barred access to nine cryptocurrency exchange apps including Binance in India. This action follows the Ministry of Finance’s alert targeting around twelve foreign crypto exchanges operating without registration in the country.
App Store Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges in India
The Indian branch of Apple’s App Store has restricted access to various cryptocurrency exchange applications, including Gate.io, Bitfinex, MEXC, Bittrex, Huobi, Binance, OKX, KuCoin and Bitget. This move comes in the wake of the Indian government issuing noncompliance notices to almost twelve foreign cryptocurrency exchanges. As a result, these exchange apps are no longer available for novice users in India.
On the 28th of December 2023, India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Ministry of Finance issued a notice to above mentioned cryptocurrency exchange platforms accusing them of conducting illegal operations in the country.
The notice states that every crypto exchange is required to establish as a “reporting entity” and submit statements to the Department of Income Tax. While Apple’s App Store restricts the crypto exchanges flagged by the FIU, these platforms are still accessible on Google’s Play Store and through web versions.
CoinDCX founder Sumit Gupta expressed his views on the recent prohibition of foreign crypto exchanges on a social media platform (formerly known as Twitter). He outlined a strategy for investors aiming to shift from noncompliant foreign exchanges to compliant Indian platforms. He said:
“In the changing landscape of the virtual digital asset (VDA) realm of india , where foreign exchange applications are encountering limitations secondary to government directives, CoinDCX recognizes the concerns of the community. This marks a pivotal moment for Virtual Digital Assets (VDA) in India, and our commitment is to ensure a smooth and secure transition for investors adapting to these transformations.”
India to Impose Tax on Crypto
After India’s implementation of a 30% tax on cryptocurrency and a 1% tax reduction at the source for every crypto trade, the trading volume on cryptocurrency exchanges experienced a significant decline. In response, Indian users swiftly turned to foreign cryptocurrency exchanges to evade the substantial tax structure. Consequently, the recent move aims to restrict the utilization of foreign exchanges.
The recent step taken by the Indian government occurs in the midst of an increasing need for regulatory measures. At the Group of 20 (G20) summit held recently, the Indian government advocated for international cooperation in the realm of cryptocurrency regulation.
The Indian cryptocurrency community has long been urging for a balanced approach to crypto regulation, but despite repeated assurances, the Indian finance ministry has yet to present a legislation on cryptocurrency in the parliament.
Binance’s regional platform, X, shared a tweet acknowledging their awareness of the application restriction in India but provided assurance that current users will not experience any impact.
“We recognize the recent developments impacting cryptocurrency exchanges on the iOS App Store in India, particularly the Binance App. The current scenario is not exclusive to #Binance, and our dedication to adhering to local regulations and engaging in ongoing discussions remains unchanged. Kindly be informed that the existing users of the application will not experience any adverse effects…”