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India’s crypto exchanges block deposits via state-backed system

NEW DELHI (CNA) – Big Indian crypto exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX have disabled rupee deposits for the purchase of cryptocurrency using a widely-used state-backed transfer system, spurring users to voice concern on social media.

India spent years on a law to ban or regulate cryptocurrencies, with its central bank backing a ban over their threat to financial stability, but a recent decision to tax income from them suggests acceptance by authorities.

Yesterday, CoinSwitch’s app was not allowing users to load deposits, while rival exchange WazirX said on Twitter, “United Payments Interface (UPI) is not available”, adding that it had no estimated time to fix the issue with UPI deposits.

“You have closed the INR deposit without any information. At least let us know how long it will be closed,” Twitter user Avijit Debnath asked CoinSwitch on the social media platform.

India decided in February to tax income from cryptocurrencies and other digital assets at 30 per cent, signalling that authorities accepted digital currencies, but uncertainty over regulation has weighed on the industry.

No official data is available on the size of the Indian crypto market, but industry estimates suggest investors number from 15 million to 20 million, with total holdings of about INR400 billion (USD5.25 billion).