Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume, has assured its Indian users regarding the safety and security of their accounts and funds.
The move follows the delisting of several major crypto service providers from Apple’s app store, including Kucoin and OKX.
Cupertino, California-based Apple said the decision was made in response to a show-cause notice from India’s Finance Ministry regarding non-compliance with the country’s money laundering laws.
Binance, which has no official headquarters, claims India has the highest number of crypto users in the world.
Binance commits to compliance
Following Apple’s removal of at least three offshore crypto exchanges from its India app store, Binance penned a blog post confirming the situation to its Indian customers.
The firm clarified that the restriction only affects users trying to access the Indian iOS app store or the Binance website from India.
Notably, existing users with the Binance app are reported to be unaffected by the restriction.
The crypto exchange also reaffirms its commitment to adhering to local regulations and maintaining ongoing communication with regulators globally.
Despite facing challenges, Binance expresses optimism about the potential of the Indian market. The company acknowledges that the current situation is not unique to Binance and underscores its dedication to compliance with local regulations, along with a sustained dialogue with regulators worldwide to ensure the continued availability of its services.
Earlier this week, Apple delisted Binance, Kucoin, and OKX from its India app store following show-cause notices previously issued by the country’s Finance Ministry to nine virtual digital assets (VDA) service providers.
These notices cited non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws, prompting the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to request the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to block the websites of these entities.
The government is reportedly considering further actions, including a potential ban on the Indian operations of overseas cryptocurrency apps like Binance if found guilty under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintains a steadfast stance on cryptocurrency, with Governor Shaktikanta Das reiterating last October that there has been no change in their position regarding a crypto ban.
RBI officials, in December, told Indian newspaper Hindustan Times that treating crypto assets as regulated entities may not have significant upsides.
They suggest that, at best, they should be treated akin to gambling instruments.
Despite facing significant regulatory challenges, India surprisingly claimed the top position in Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index. This marks a rebound from the previous year when India had slipped to the fourth spot in Chainalysis’ 2022 adoption index.
Indian government targets offshore Crypto exchanges
In December 2023, India’s Ministry of Finance issued compliance show cause notices to nine offshore crypto exchanges, including Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
These notices were delivered by India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), operating under the nation’s Finance Ministry. Simultaneously, the government has initiated steps to block the URLs of these exchanges.
The warning underscores concerns about the operations of these exchanges not aligning with the provisions of the PMLA.
The exchanges were granted a specific timeframe to respond to these notices, and the government has urged the IT ministry to block access to their URLs. This development followed earlier FIU notices to the exchanges for their non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws.
The overarching aim of the Indian government’s actions is to ensure compliance with the country’s regulations and curb unauthorized operations within the crypto space.
These measures represent a proactive step toward reinforcing regulatory frameworks and maintaining oversight in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape.