Google’s app store, Google Play, followed in Apple’s footsteps to remove Binance and other crypto exchanges like Kraken from its platform in India.
On Saturday, Google’s Indian Play Store removed Binance and several other crypto exchanges following a similar decision by Apple’s App Store.
Binance, OKX and Other Removed from Google and Apple App Stores
Google removed many crypto exchanges, including Binance, Kraken and OKX, from its Indian Play Store just days after Apple did the same.
According to reports from TechCrunch, Apple and Google’s ban comes two weeks after the Indian government flagged these exchanges for operating “illegally” in the country. India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) announced it requested a ban on nine crypto exchanges in the country.
In December, the FIU issued notices to Binance, Kraken, Huobi, Bitstamp, Gate.io. KuCoin, Bittrex, Bitfinex, and MEXC Global for operating illegally in India. The FIU, which oversees suspicious financial activity, claims the exchanges failed to register with it and did not comply with national AML and anti-terrorist financing regulations. According to the FIU, exchanges providing services to Indian customers must register as a “reporting entity.” After allegedly failing to do so, the FIU asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block these websites over non-compliance.
Binance South Asia posted on X to say it knew of the blockage in India but said users’ accounts and funds are safe. Just before the block on Google’s Play Store, Binance South Asia said:
“We are aware of an IP block affecting a number of crypto firms, including Binance. This only impacts users who attempt to access the Indian iOS app store or the Binance website from India. Existing users who already have the Binance app are not affected.”
“The ongoing situation is not unique to Binance and impacts other web3 industry players as well. We are working hard to inform constructive policy-making that seeks to benefit every user and all market participants. All user funds are safe. If you are having trouble accessing your account or need support, you may DM us here. Any changes or updates will be communicated promptly via our official channels.”
India Adopts Stringent Crypto Guidance
Many Indians have turned to global crypto platforms after the Indian government introduced a burdensome 30% capital gains tax and 1% tax deducted at source on every transaction in 2022. The tax imposition forced many domestic traders to migrate to offshore exchanges with less stringent KYC protocols. Following the move to international exchanges, domestic crypto exchange WazirX recorded substantially lower transaction volumes and laid off 40% of its staff due to declining market conditions.
Banking Sector Maintain Anti-Crypto Views, Industry Leaders Warn Against Harsh Policies
India’s harsh crypto taxation policy received heavy criticism from leading industry players, all arguing that India’s anti-crypto policies may kill the industry in the country.
India’s banking sector is highly vocal in its concerns over crypto. The Governor of the RBI, Shaktikanta Das, called for a complete ban on the industry, describing the crypto trade as “nothing but gambling.” Governor Das recently reiterated his views, adamantly stating crypto threatens financial stability.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.