Days after its launch in the world’s second-largest internet market, Coinbase Global, Inc. COIN suspended the option to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin BTC/USD, Dogecoin DOGE/USD, and Ethereum ETH/USD using UPI in India.
What Happened: This came after America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, while making its debut in India last week, said it was working on getting UPI (Unified Payment Interface) on its platform for all users. The development followed a statement from India’s central bank subdivision that it was not aware of any cryptocurrency exchange using UPI payments instruments.
The Coinbase app shows that the users can sell via the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) method; buying option is unavailable.
A Coinbase spokesperson earlier, in response to the NPCI statement, said, “As we enter the Indian market, we are actively experimenting with a number of payment methods and partners to enable our customers to seamlessly make their cryptocurrency purchases. One of these methods is UPI, simple to use and rapid payment system.”
Why It Matters: UPI has seen massive growth over the past few years and has become one of India’s most popular modes of payment. In the financial year 2021-22, payments worth $1.09 trillion were processed through the UPI, according to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data.
This may have been the first time for Coinbase to experience such a hurdle but it is not new for Indian cryptocurrency exchanges widely, which have been facing regulatory hurdles from the Indian government over the years. The country’s government has been firmly against the decision of cryptocurrency mining and trading and is looking to regulate the use of digital assets in India.
Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Bitcoin was trading flat at $42,122 in the last 24 hours, and Ethereum was trading at $3,168, down about a percent over the same period.
Photo: Courtesy of Ivan Radic via Flickr