- Google Play Store in India blocks Binance and OKX apps after Indian government’s Financial Intelligence Unit issues notice that crypto exchanges operating in India must register or face being blocked
- Notice comes amid India’s expanding regulations on the crypto industry, including a 30% crypto tax and 1% tax on trades imposed in March 2022
- Removal of major exchange apps like Binance and OKX represents another concerning development for India’s cryptocurrency industry as regulators struggle to find appropriate legal framework
The Google Play Store in India has removed the apps for major cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and OKX. This comes after the Indian government’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued notices stating that crypto exchanges operating in India must register with them or face being blocked. The removal is the latest escalation of the Indian government’s crackdown on the crypto industry in the country.
Indian Government Issues Compliance Notice to Exchanges
On December 28, 2022, the FIU sent notices to Binance, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, KuCoin, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, Bittrex, and Bitfinex. The notice stated that any exchange providing services to Indian users must register as a “reporting entity” and submit statements to the income tax department. The FIU proposed that non-compliant exchanges should be blocked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Google Play Store Removes Binance and OKX Apps
Following the FIU notice, Google Play Store has now removed the apps for Binance and OKX, two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Although the apps have been blocked, Binance’s website and services remain available to existing Indian users for now. Binance stated that Indian users’ accounts and funds remain safe despite the app removal.
The Removal Comes Amid India’s Expanding Crypto Regulations
The removal of the Binance and OKX apps is the latest in a series of escalating crypto regulations in India. In March 2022, India imposed a 30% tax on cryptocurrencies as well as a 1% tax deduction on all crypto trades. This caused trading volumes on Indian exchanges to plunge as users migrated toward foreign exchanges like Binance to avoid the heavy taxes.
India’s increasing crypto regulations aim to bring the nascent industry under regulatory oversight. However, the blunt measures have damaged India’s crypto sector without providing a clear legal framework. The removal of Binance and OKX’s apps represents another concerning development for India’s cryptocurrency industry.
The Google Play Store’s removal of the Binance and OKX apps shows the far-reaching implications of India’s expanding crypto regulations. While the Indian government aims to oversee the crypto industry, blunt measures like app bans could stifle innovation in the promising sector. The situation remains uncertain for India’s cryptocurrency industry as regulators struggle to find an appropriate legal framework.