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Crypto Payments Frozen Across India, Hitting Trading

  • At least seven crypto firms have suspended rupee deposits
  • Crypto exchanges were already under pressure from tax regime
Surojit Chatterjee
Surojit ChatterjeePhotographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg

When Surojit Chatterjee walked on stage at a Coinbase Global Inc. conference in Bengaluru, India, on April 7, he had little reason to anticipate the fallout that would shortly ensue. Chatterjee, the company’s chief product officer, told the assembled audience that crypto investors would now be able to use the country’s online retail payments system to transfer funds to its local exchange.

Hours after Chatterjee’s announcement, the central bank-backed entity that runs the system — called United Payments Interface — said it was “not aware” of any crypto exchange using the network. Within three days of the event, Coinbase had halted rupee transfers to its trading app via UPI.