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Crypto Exchanges Are Already Adapting to India's Bank Account Ban

As the Indian Supreme Court declined to end a circular issued by the country’s central bank that bars crypto exchanges from working with banks, trading platforms are taking varied actions ahead of the next court hearing set for July 20.

Zebpay, the largest crypto exchange in India by trading volume, said in a Tweet on Wednesday it had paused the Indian rupee deposit and withdrawal services until banks allow it again following the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the Supreme Court held a hearing on Tuesday and said the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular issued in April will “remain implemented,” which prohibits banks from facilitating fiat transactions on Indian crypto exchanges.

However, Zebpay said the fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading services are still on. According to data from CoinMarketCap, Zebpay is seeing over $5 million trading volume in the past 24 hours.

While the company has not made further notes on the court’s temporary decision, Ajeet Khurana, chief executive of Zebpay, commented in a Tweet:

“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.”

In a similar move, several exchanges in India with relatively smaller volume also announced they would suspend fiat currency deposit and withdrawal services for now, such as Coinome and Pexo.

Meanwhile, other exchanges appear to be not deterred and said they will continue allowing investors to deposit and withdraw fiat currency even if the RBI’s circular indicated July 5 as the deadline for bank account closure.

For instance, BitBNS, an exchange with over $1.4 million 24-hour trading volume on CoinMarketCap, confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday it will continue the service for depositing and withdrawing Indian rupee after July 5.

The exchange has not responded to CoinDesk’s enquiry for further details. Similarly, another smaller exchange named KoinOK also claimed its fiat currency deposit and withdrawal services are running fine.

On the other hand, shifting to over-the-counter trading has also become one strategy that several Indian exchanges are taking to circumvent the RBI’s bank account curb.

KoinEX, an exchange with around $1.5 million 24-hour trading volume according to CoinMarketCap, has collaborated with another platform called WazirX to launched a peer-to-peer trading service dubbed KoinLoop, based on a local news report on Tuesday.

The service is seen as a way to cut the exchange’s direct ties with banks so that investors can buy or sell cryptocurrency assets in a peer-to-peer manner.

“If banking is something the exchanges are not allowed to do, then the solution is something that direct banking doesn’t come in,” WazirX’s chief executive Nischal Shetty was quoted as saying.

Indian rupee image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Binance Opens Its First Crypto-Fiat Exchange in Uganda

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has just launched a fiat trading pair in Uganda.

Binance, the largest exchange by volume according to CoinMarketCap, announced Thursday that it was starting a fiat-crypto trading pair with the Uganda shilling. Moreover, the company also announced its first fiat crypto exchange in the nation, called Binance Uganda, according to a statement.

The exchange will charge zero trading fees when it comes online, though Binance declined to state when that would be. However, the first 20,000 users to register with the service will receive 0.5 binance coins (BNB) as “appreciation” for their support, according to the statement.

The tokens will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis but users who wish to withdraw their tokens must complete identification verification procedures after the platform is launched, according to the announcement.

The launch marks Binance’s latest steps in expanding cryptocurrency trading in the underbanked country. Only 33 percent of Ugandans actively use their registered financial accounts in 2016, according to a study by Financial Inclusion Insights, a data-collection organization which focuses on trends in the digital financial services industry.

The Hong Kong-based exchange also has announced plans to open a fiat-crypto trading platform in Malta, an island nation located in the Central Mediterranean Sea, Bloomberg reported.

Image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.