In a significant move in the cryptocurrency market, the Google Play Store in India has made the decision to remove cryptocurrency exchange apps Binance and OKX. This step was a direct response to the notice of non-compliance issued by the Indian government against these platforms.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Indian Ministry of Finance on December 28, 2023, issued a strict warning to several cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, KuCoin, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, Bittrex and Bitfinex. This notice pointed to the illegal operation of these entities in Indian territory.
The FIU emphasized that all cryptocurrency exchanges offering services to Indian users must register as “reporting entities”. Furthermore, they are required to submit their returns to the income tax department. In view of the non-compliance, the UIF suggested to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the websites of these exchanges.
Interestingly, despite the restriction imposed by the Google Play Store, both the Binance app and website remain accessible and operational for existing users in India.
In response to this situation, Binance South Asia made a post on X (formerly Twitter), reassuring its users that their accounts and funds remain safe despite the app blocking.
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
This measure comes in a context where, after India implemented a 30% tax on cryptocurrencies and a 1% tax deduction at source on every cryptocurrency transaction, there has been a sharp drop in the volume of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Many Indian users have migrated to foreign cryptocurrency platforms to escape the heavy tax regime. The Indian Finance Act, 2022, passed in March 2022, modified tax regulations.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.