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This article was published on July 4, 2018

India’s cryptocurrency ban has already taken its first toll

The country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Zebpay, stop fiat deposits and withdrawals

India’s cryptocurrency ban has already taken its first toll
Neer Varshney
Story by

Neer Varshney

Former TNW writer

It seems that Indian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the central bank’s directive against cryptocurrency businesses is taking its toll already.

Zebpay is disabling the deposit and withdrawal options for Indian Rupee from its platform, the company announced today.

It is worth noting that this decision isn’t coming out of the blue. Zebpay asked its users to withdraw their fiat funds from the exchange last month. The exchange desk warned that trading against the Indian Rupee could stop on all exchanges if the court’s decision doesn’t go in their favor, and users could end up losing their money.

For some background, India’s central bank — Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — issued a directive against banks to withdraw support to cryptocurrency businesses in the country in April. The banks were given three months to comply with the directive or face regulatory action.

The cryptocurrency community took to the Indian judiciary for relief against the directive. But now that the Supreme Court has turned down their appeal, the directive will come in effect on its stipulated date on July 6. All cryptocurrency exchanges in India will likely have to stop offering the option to trade against the Indian Rupee. But no other major cryptocurrency exchange has come with an announcement, as of press time.

Zebpay seems to have been preparing for their survival against this ban for a while.

The exchange desk launched crypto-to-crypto trading following the RBI directive in April. Till then, it only offered trading against the Indian Rupee. The exchange currently supports more than 19 cryptocurrencies and 35 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Zebpay is the only Indian cryptocurrency exchange listed on CoinMarketCap boasting a trading volume of $5 million over the past 24 hours. But with fiat trading discontinued, its trading volumes will very likely hit the skids.

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