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Google Removes Several Cryptocurrency Platforms From Its Indian Play Store

Google has removed several cryptocurrency platforms from the Indian version of its Play Store.

Google Removes Several Cryptocurrency Platforms From Its Indian Play Store

At the end of last week, the media reported that the mentioned decision of the technology giant concerns such crypto companies as Binance and Kraken. A similar move was performed by Apple in January.

Currently, the Indian authorities are significantly tightening their policy on digital assets, including its distribution. At the end of December, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the South Asian country announced its intention to block the URLs of nine offshore virtual asset service providers. This decision is explained by the fact that some companies operating in the cryptocurrency market do not comply with the Indian law on the prevention of money laundering.

In 2022, a 30% capital gains tax and a 1% transaction levy came into force in the South Asian country. Against the background of these juridical realities, several Indian crypto traders have decided to move to global platforms with less stringent regulations.

The new policy of the authorities of the South Asian country, combined with a larger-scale downturn in the crypto market, caused a decrease in the level of trading activity on the local WazirX exchange. The corresponding indicator fell by 97%.

The well-funded Indian platforms CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX still adhere to the practice of strict identity verification. According to the fiscal authorities, there is a group of so-called unscrupulous traders who use classic methods of tax evasion.

Ashish Singhal, co-founder, and CEO of CoinSwitch, wrote on his X social network account last week that CoinSwitch and CoinSwitch PRO, and several other Indian VDA exchanges already meet the requirements of Indian authorities, noting that there is no reason why offshore platforms wishing to do business in a South Asian country should not do the same the same thing.

Last year in India, the total amount of fines against crypto exchanges and fintech companies amounted to $5.8 billion. In this case, the reason for material liability was insufficient financial control. The amount of fines against the specified firms exceeded the monetary penalties faced by traditional financial organizations.

Crypto exchanges and fintech companies were financially penalized in India in 2023 for violations such as failure to take money laundering measures or insufficient efforts to conduct customer verification procedures. These are the most common reasons for fines.

Traditional financial services companies faced $835 million in penalties for various violations in India last year. This figure is the lowest in the last ten years.

Against the background of the mentioned problems related to the regulation of the crypto sector, many startups working in the relevant industry have faced difficulties in obtaining investment financing. Such attempts have become a difficult task. The total volume of venture capital investments in the crypto sector in 2023 amounted to $9.5 billion. This figure is less than a third of the amount in 2022.

As we have reported earlier, India’s Digital Currency Transactions Top One Million Daily.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.