India has been one of the biggest names when it comes to the global cryptocurrency trade. The cryptocurrency price-boom of 2017 brought a number of Indian investors into the mix - and they have since been monitoring the markets closely. However, the Indian banking authorities do not seem to be too pleased with the crypto-trade in the nation. The central banking authority has ordered a banking embargo on those individuals and organizations who deal in cryptocurrencies.
However, Indian cryptocurrency exchanges do not feel demotivated by this move - and are rapidly adapting to the needs of the times by introducing crypto-to-crypto trading, as well as by introducing newer cryptocurrencies - providing investors with newer, more options to trade.
Crypto-to-Crypto Trade On the Rise in India
Following the banking embargo, Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are rapidly introducing these new features to attract the users. Leading Indian names such as Zebpay and Koinex have been quick to bring in these changes.
Zebpay was the first to announce that they will now support BTC/ETH cryptocurrency trading pairs - and have since added six more such trading pairs on their platform. This was followed by Koinex’s announcement where they introduced 23 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, including several based on Ripple! The Unocoin cryptocurrency exchange also announced an app where users would be able to make crypto-to-crypto trades.
Zebpay has also been introducing support for new cryptocurrencies - over the past couple of weeks, the platform introduced Tron, Augur, 0z and Golem - and is expected to add even more names to the list in the days to follow. Moreover, Indian cryptocurrency traders would now be able to trade Verge in a domestic exchange for the first time as the Bitbns cryptocurrency exchange has now introduced support for trading Verge! Other exchanges have also been making use of similar strategies.
In a statement to Indian financial daily Economic Times, Ajeet Khurana, the Zebpay CEO commented that:
“Even if there was no RBI circular, the crypto to crypto product would have happened. However, because of the circular and the fact that fiats may no longer be in the picture, it definitely did hurry up and encourage the solution sooner.”
Multiple Cases Filed Against the RBI’s Banking Embargo
A circular from the Reserve Bank of India issued in early April instructed all regulated bodies to stop providing services to those individuals and organizations dealing in cryptocurrencies - a period of three months was allotted to implement this. Notably, this includes not only banks but all financial institutions and payment wallets in the nation as they are all ‘RBI Regulated Bodies’.
Since this circular, multiple cases have been filed against the RBI, hailing the decision as unconstitutional and that it violates several articles in the Indian constitution. The first case was filed by Kali Digital Ecosystems (the parent company of Coinrecoil exchange) in the Delhi High Court - and a hearing has been scheduled for later in May. Four more cryptocurrency exchanges - Coindelta, Koinex, ThroughBit, and CoinDCX - sued the RBI in the Supreme Court of India.
While the banking system might not be as favourable as the Indian investors expect it to be - this hasn’t really had an impact on India’s enthusiasm in the crypto-trade as the trade volume continues to be $75 Million - the same as it was before the RBI’s announcement. It would be interesting to see what the verdict of these cases comes out and the impact that it has on the Indian cryptocurrency sector.