Crypto exchange Coinbase has refuted reports regarding the discontinuation of its services in India first circulated by TechCrunch and Economic Times, some of the most widely-read news sites in the country.
As per 11 September reports, emails were sent to Coinbase users in India warning them about the discontinuation of all services by 25 September. The message also urged users to to remove any funds that remained on the exchange.
These reports were soon widely shared in the community on multiple social media platforms. The original report issued by TechCrunch was also picked up by a number of prominent accounts on X (formerly Twitter) like Wu Blockchain.
Coinbase then issued a clarification to the circulating report, confirming the firm’s commitment to India over the long term. Coinbase will “continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market”, added the spokesperson.
It was also understood that the notice about discontinuation was not aimed at all Indian customers and was instead for those who were breaching the exchange’s standards. As per an 8 September mail shared by the Coinbase spokesperson, the warning stated: “We are reaching out to inform you that we will be discontinuing all Coinbase Retail services linked to your above-mentioned account, as we will be disabling access for the retail accounts that no longer meet our updated standards for these services.”
The message also added that the move would not impact a user’s access to/use of Coinbase Cloud services which will continue to be accessible through their respective accounts.
The statement further reiterated that this email was only sent to account holders whom Coinbase deemed as breaching their “updated standards”. This could have been a result of the firm’s recent routine review of systems. Here, some accounts might have been identified to no longer meet the new updated standards, therefore prompting Coinbase to disable them, allowing customers to update their information at a later date, said the spokesperson.
It was also noted that the funds of the affected users would also remain safe with Coinbase as they will be allowed to withdraw their balances and send to other crypto service providers until 25 September.
The misreports mentioned that the exchange has put a stop to Indian users signing up to its exchange. They were instead asked to download Coinbase Wallet, which is the exchange’s wallet application. However, this change is not new as it has been in place since June and only impacts exchange accounts, clarified the spokesperson.
They added: “We stopped allowing new user sign ups on our exchange product in India back in June of this year. We maintain a robust tech hub in the country and offer live products, including our Coinbase Wallet. We are committed to India over the long term and continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market.”
The US crypto exchange’s launch in India has not been devoid of hiccups. Just three days after it went live on 7 April 2022, Coinbase had to stop payment services through United Payments Interface (UPI) on its platform due to regulatory pressures in India.
While the exchange’s operations have been suspended since then, its other products like the Coinbase Wallet continue to be available as a service in the country. Along with this, its tech hub also remains active in India.
Users who had bought crypto prior to UPI’s disablement on the platform were given the option to trade existing cryptos in their wallet with other users, which is known as peer-to-peer or P2P trading. However, as of now, Indian users on Coinbase can only send existing cryptos from their account.
For crypto users in India, things have been quite rough ever since the introduction of a 30 per cent tax on crypto profits. This came along with one per cent TDS on all transactions in February 2022, which was made applicable from FY 2023.