Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

A growing number of crypto exchanges in India have announced the return of fiat deposit and withdrawal support despite the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. Several other exchanges in the country also allow their users to use Indian rupees to buy and cash out cryptocurrencies through their exchange-escrow peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Exchanges Say INR Support Is Back

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanSince the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect in July, crypto exchanges in the country have been deprived of banking services. Many of them subsequently shut down their INR support, disallowing users to make deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. The Supreme Court of India is scheduled to hear petitions against the ban next week.

However, recently at least three crypto exchanges in the country have announced the return of INR deposit and withdrawal support despite the RBI ban.

On Wednesday, September 12, crypto exchange Koinex announced that it has brought back INR deposits and withdrawals through its P2P system, stating:

We are happy to announce the revival of INR in the crypto universe through a new peer-to-peer deposit and withdrawal mechanism for INR transactions…Just like the old times, users will be able to deposit and withdraw funds directly from their INR wallets.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanAnother crypto exchange, Coindelta, announced on August 31 that it had resumed INR support. “We have resumed back the INR deposits and withdrawals on Coindelta. Not only this, your old favourite INR markets are back where you can trade with your INR,” the exchange wrote.

In addition, news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on another exchange, Giottus, offering a creative way of allowing users to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees using its P2P platform.

Other Exchanges With Similar Services

The three aforementioned exchanges are utilizing their exchange-escrowed P2P services to facilitate deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. Each has its own set of rules including the number of coins supported, the deposit and withdrawal process, and the time it takes to withdraw INR using their systems.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanThere are several other exchanges with similar P2P services that allow users to both purchase cryptocurrencies and cash out in Indian rupees.

Crypto exchange Wazirx, for example, recently celebrated its six-month anniversary of launching its P2P service. The exchange claims “We’re seeing our trading volumes increasing every day.” Vouching for the popularity of P2P trading, CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com “We see more than 1 match per minute on our P2P.”

Another exchange, Instashift, has been offering P2P trading of over 80 coins. “Since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” CEO Rahul Chitale shared with news.Bitcoin.com.

Coindcx also offers P2P trading on its Dcxinsta platform. “We guarantee any 50+ cryptocurrencies purchase directly with INR in less than 60 seconds,” CEO Sumit Gupta claims.

Other fiat-enabling systems outside of the P2P services are also being used in India such as the Dabba trading system which uses the Telegram messaging app to facilitate the trades.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of the way Indian crypto exchanges offer fiat support despite the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New Method

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New Method

An Indian cryptocurrency exchange has come up with a new method to allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees despite the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank. The exchange also guarantees that rupee requests will be processed within 30 minutes or the user will receive ten free XRP credited to their account.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Creative Ways Around RBI Ban

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New MethodThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, issued a circular in April banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto exchanges. The ban went into effect in July and banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges, prompting a number of them to come up with creative solutions for INR deposits and withdrawals. Some launched exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) services; some crypto-to-crypto trading.

One crypto exchange in particular claims to have found a way around the ban. Giottus, which also offers exchange-escrowed P2P trading service, reopened its fiat support despite the RBI ban. The platform offers BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, and LTC trading pairs.

Giottus wrote on its website:

Get your INR processed within 30 mins of placing your request, else get 10 XRP credited to your Giottus account.

The exchange explained that INR withdrawals are only processed during banking hours, adding that “withdrawal requests received after 5 p.m. will take a maximum of 10 hrs or will be credited [the] next day (whichever is earliest).”

Giottus’ Method

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New MethodGiottus co-founder and COO, Arjun Vijay, recently explained to Ambcrypto publication that his exchange is able to offer INR deposit and withdrawal services “by identifying specific traders who can process deposits and withdrawals quickly. This is still done through P2P, allowing the traders to still function normally,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted Vijay saying:

We have now started processing INR deposits and withdrawals through these selected P2P partners and they currently on average process requests within 15 minutes. As a safety measure, we take collateral from these P2P partners, and these partners, as service fee charge 0.2% for the deposits and 0.2% for the withdrawals.

Vijay further noted that traders can process volumes of up to approximately 60-70 percent of their collateral deposited with the exchange before additional collateral is required.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of Giottus’ method to let customers deposit and withdraw rupees amid RBI’s ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Crypto Exchange Okex Introduces Stricter KYC Rules

Crypto Exchange Okex Introduces Stricter KYC Rules

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Okex is enforcing tightened identity verification procedures. Daily withdrawal limits will soon depend on the KYC level passed by its users. The changes will apply to customers of Okex’s partnering platforms as well.

Also read: Report: North Korea to Hold a Crypto Conference

Withdrawal Limits to Depend On the Level of Verification

While authorities in China are escalating the recently initiated crackdown on the crypto sector, Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange Okex has announced stricter KYC (know your customer) rules on its platform. Users who wish to withdraw funds will have to pass mandatory verification. According to a notification published on its website, Okex intends to enforce the requirements on August 28.

Crypto Exchange Okex Introduces Stricter KYC RulesNew withdrawal limits will be introduced as well and they will depend on the level of identification of each customer. Users will have to complete at least KYC verification level 1 in order to withdraw digital assets from Okex.

Providing passport data will be enough for a daily limit of 2 BTC. KYC levels 2 and 3, which come with a 24-hour withdrawal limit of 100 BTC, require sharing address information and uploading copies of documents proving residence and identity.

The updated verification procedures are also applicable to the users of all OK Partner exchanges, the platforms participating in Okex’s Open Partnership program. Customers have been informed that they are allowed to have only one account with Okex. In case of maintaining multiple accounts, they have been invited to transfer all their funds before the new limits come into effect.

Unverified Users Won’t Be Able to Withdraw Coins

The team at Okex also warns users that if their accounts are not verified, they will not be able to withdraw cryptocurrencies from the platform. Prior to the introduction of the new policies, Okex clients were allowed to withdraw up to 100 BTC daily without verification.

Crypto Exchange Okex Introduces Stricter KYC RulesHong Kong-headquartered Okex, currently the second largest crypto exchange by daily trade volume according to Coinmarketcap, is one of several leading global platforms with Chinese roots that sought better business climates abroad following the crypto ban imposed in the People’s Republic in September, 2017. In April, the company announced plans to expand its operations to Malta.

Earlier in August, the exchange launched its new white-label solution, Coinall. Businesses that are using it can take advantage of a variety of services offered by the exchange, including its clearing system, cold and hot storage, applicable anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) procedures. Coinall was presented as the first autonomous, community-run crypto trading platform.

What do you think of Okex introducing stricter KYC rules? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Japanese Bank Mizuho Sued by Mt Gox Customer

Japanese Bank Mizuho is Being Sued by a Mt Gox Customer

According to regional reports the Japanese financial institution, Mizuho Bank, is being accused of creating issues for Mt Gox customers who were hoping to withdraw funds after the exchange collapsed. Allegedly, even though the bank stopped processing Mt Gox withdrawals, it continued to accept deposits right before the exchange went under.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Fans Celebrate Independence Day One Year Later 

Mt Gox and Mizuho Bank

Japanese Bank Mizuho is Being Sued by a Mt Gox CustomerMt Gox customers have a bone to pick with the Japanese financial establishment Mizuho Bank Ltd (TYO:8411; NYSE:MFG), as a few Mt Gox clients claim the bank has been secretive about its relationship with the now-defunct trading platform. Just before the exchange went under as customers were unable to process withdrawals, Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles allegedly decided to keep the bank account open. The bank tied to Mt Gox allegedly continued accepting wire deposits, according to an interview with Joseph Lack from California.

California Case: Joseph Lack v. Mizuho Bank

Japanese Bank Mizuho is Being Sued by a Mt Gox CustomerIn January of 2014 Lack sent $40,000 USD to the Mt Gox account held at Mizuho Bank and the financial institution accepted the funds. One month later Mt Gox fizzled into thin air and would never open again. So Lack decided to take Karpeles and Mizuho to court because he believes both parties should have disclosed information to customers concerning the issues with Mt Gox. Lack also says Mizuho Bank committed “fraud” by not processing withdrawals, but still accepted people’s money through wire deposits, charging transaction fees in the process.

Mizuho Bank Denies Allegations, But Couldn’t Get the Case Dismissed

Mizuho Bank has denied the allegations, and had tried to get the case dismissed in the US. However, the California court decided to side with Lack and the motion to dismiss was denied. Mizuho Bank’s defense details why they continued accepting customer deposits.    

“To accept a wire transfer is passive conduct, especially because, by its nature, a wire transfer is not a communication between people, but just a transmission of information electronically from a machine at one bank to a machine at another. Indeed, Lack is not alleged to have had any direct contact with Mizuho,” explains the Japanese financial institution.

Lack says the bank should not have stayed silent and it shouldn’t have accepted the deposits. The plaintiff is also suing the financial institution for damages. The Mizuho account tethered to Mt Gox had customers stemming from 175 countries and it is estimated that 30,000 were US residents. The case called Joseph Lack v. Mizuho Bank will proceed in California since the dismissal was denied. Mizuho Bank believes it hasn’t committed any wrongdoing and says the issues that took place were merely “incidental,” and not on purpose.

What do you think about the case of Mt Gox customers sending funds to Mizuho Bank? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Mizuho Bank and Mt Gox logs, and Pixabay. Mizuho Bank, Ltd is the integrated retail and corporate banking unit of Mizuho Financial Group (TYO:8411; NYSE:MFG), one of the largest financial services


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Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

India’s central bank has responded to a representation about its crypto banking ban. The Supreme Court gave the central bank seven days to reply following a hearing last week of the petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India against the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Response

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has responded to a representation submitted by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as directed by the country’s Supreme Court.

Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that the representation is “a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” noting that it was “made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsThis representation was sent to the central bank on July 3 during the IAMAI petition hearing. The Court ordered the central bank to reply within seven days. On July 11, RBI finally sent its response to the association.

According to Sohail Merchant, the CEO of Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, RBI’s reply is a “2 page generic response.” While stating that “as of now the response cannot be made public” but there is “not much to read though,” he commented:

IAMAI received the response from RBI as directed by SC [Supreme Court], the response is generic with the same language as the public circulars. They have not even given deliberate thought to the points made by us, all the basis of their arguments is ‘Investor Protection.’

Shetty reiterated, “RBI has responded to IAMAI…They aren’t changing their stand.”

Until Next Hearing on July 20

The central bank issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies, including crypto exchanges.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsRBI gave banks three months to sever their relationships with crypto businesses. As the ban went into effect on July 5, banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges. One by one, the exchanges stopped supporting fiat deposits and withdrawals.

To bypass banking restrictions, a number of exchanges are launching peer-to-peer (P2P) trading services. Koinex and Coindelta are reportedly launching their P2P services on July 15. Wazirx, on the other hand, already launched its P2P service. The company wrote, “Wazirx P2P goes live today, 10th July at 3PM. With Wazirx P2P, a buyer and seller can buy and sell cryptos for INR directly with each other.”

Meanwhile, industry participants and stakeholders are trying to get the RBI ban lifted by filing petitions with the Supreme Court, which will all be heard on July 20.

Do you think RBI will soon lift the banking ban on crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are forging ahead with their solutions to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. A growing number of exchanges have stopped fiat support as they ramp up peer-to-peer and crypto-to-crypto trading.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban in Effect

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanThe crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect at the end of last week. The central bank issued a circular three months ago, banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies. The industry was hopeful that the Supreme Court would grant a stay on the ban on July 3 but the court did not and the RBI ban subsequently went into effect.

Wazirx announced on July 4, “We’ve discontinued INR deposits with immediate effect,” adding:

Our banking partner has abruptly stopped supporting our bank account. This is due to the recent RBI circular banning banks from providing support to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanKoinex announced on July 7 that users can “submit INR withdrawal requests till 02.00 PM on July 9, 2018 (Monday) after which no further INR withdrawal requests will be accepted.”

Buyucoin announced last week that “Deposit and Withdrawal will be halted until further notice due to RBI circular by midnight 5th of July’18.”

Three of the first crypto exchanges to announce a suspension of fiat deposits and withdrawals were Zebpay, Pexo, and Coinome, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Another major exchange, Unocoin, has yet to announce that it has stopped fiat support at press time.

P2P Trading

Amid RBI’s ban, Indian crypto exchanges have been ramping up their solutions to continue business after the ban. Among them is P2P trading, where the exchange acts as an escrow service between two customers for each fiat to crypto trade.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanWazirx has been preparing to launch a P2P trading service. The exchange announced on July 8, “WazirX P2P is launching in a few days.”

Koinex is also gearing up to launch its P2P service called Loop. Citing that “the INR/crypto trading corridor may be discontinued over the next few days with prior notice,” the exchange revealed on July 7, “after that, users will be able to trade via Koinex Loop and True USD corridors for fiat stability.” The exchange elaborated:

Loop is a peer-to-peer transaction network for digital assets using fiat currency. Koinex users will automatically find their KYC-verified Loop accounts ready upon release. Loop is in the final stages of development and will be released before July 15, 2018.

Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanMeanwhile, a number of exchanges have ramped up crypto-to-crypto trading services, similar to Binance and Poloniex.

Unocoin recently launched its crypto-to-crypto platform, Unodax. On July 4, the exchange announced more trading pairs for the platform. It now offers 9 BTC trading pairs, 4 ETH trading pairs, and 4 XRP trading pairs. Unocoin emphasized:

Unodax, India’s leading blockchain and cryptoasset company is introducing 17 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Zebpay also offers 19 cryptocurrencies and over 35 trading pairs on its platform now that it has dropped fiat support.

What do you think of RBI’s ban and crypto exchanges’ solutions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


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Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have one by one announced the shut down of their fiat deposits and withdrawals as banks start closing their accounts per RBI’s crypto banking ban. Meanwhile, they are trying to educate the central bank in hopes of easing the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban Going Ahead

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe Supreme Court of India heard a petition against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. However, it did not grant a stay on the ban. Instead, this petition, which was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), will be heard along with four other petitions on July 20.

RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges, starting on July 5. Without the stay by the Supreme Court, banks are likely to stop providing their services on July 5 per RBI’s order.

Shutting Down Fiat Support

One of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Zebpay, announced Wednesday:

Today we are disabling the rupee deposit and withdrawal options on the Zebpay app. This is being done in light of the bank account closures as per the RBI guideline…INR deposits and withdrawals have been paused in the Zebpay app until banks allow us again.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe exchange recently warned its customers that rupee deposits and withdrawals may become impossible if its bank accounts are disrupted. In the meantime, Zebpay noted that crypto deposits and withdrawals as well as “crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pair trading” continue to be supported.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAnother major Indian crypto exchange, Unocoin, issued a statement after the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday. Reiterating that the court “has refused to hear the plea for interim relief” and that “The [next] hearing is set for the 20th of July,” the exchange wrote:

Banking services are expected to be revoked this week…if you are withdrawing or depositing any rupees in Unocoin, there could be a time when we may not honour such requests.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanA smaller exchange, Coinome, stopped INR deposits at 11:59 PM on July 3. INR withdrawals will be discontinued on July 4 at 11:59 PM, the exchange advised its customers and requested them “not to Panic Sell. Your crypto assets will continue to retain value as per global markets.”

Pexo exchange also announced Wednesday that “We are closing the INR deposit and withdrawal request after 6 p.m. today as per the RBI guidelines. Requesting you all to withdraw your funds before the deadline.”

Banking Alternative/Extension

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanWazirx announced at the time of this writing that its “INR deposits & withdrawals are [still] working normally,” adding that “You don’t need to worry about cashing in/out of crypto as Wazirx P2P will help you cash in/out of crypto even after RBI ban.” The exchange recently announced the launch of its P2P trading service which will be live once banks stop providing services to the exchange.

Meanwhile, Pocketbits announced that its “INR deposits might not be available after 5th of July, but INR withdrawals will be available even after that. Users can Withdraw their INR anytime. Crypto Withdrawals and Deposits are always available without any restrictions.” The exchange clarified:

Our current banks have given us an extension to disburse all the funds, this does not mean we will have functioning bank accounts indefinitely. We will notify our users days in advance before the withdrawals are completely stopped.

Koinok, on the other hand, claimed at the time of this writing that “even after July 5, INR withdrawals will be available on Koinok and you will be able to withdraw your INR funds anytime.”

Exchanges Trying to Educate RBI

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAt the IAMAI petition hearing on Tuesday, the association submitted “a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com.

According to CNBC-Awaaz, the Supreme Court sent a notice to RBI during the hearing, asking the central bank to respond within 7 days. Shetty elaborated, “if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Unocoin emphasized on Wednesday:

We would like to let you know that this [RBI’s banking ban] is not a ban on cryptoassets and a policy in this regard is expected in the near future.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by exchanges in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of RBI’s action and how crypto exchanges are responding? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Regulations, Okex Suspends Withdrawals

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Regulations, Okex Suspends Withdrawals

In recent news relating to cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbundle has received approval for licensing in The Philippines, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a consultation paper regarding its intention to update its regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency exchanges, and Okex has announced that it has remedied the error that caused it abruptly to suspend withdrawals and fiat trading yesterday.

Also Read: Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Coinbundle Receives Approval for Licensing in The Philippines

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsSaad Rizvi, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Coinbundle, recently met with the National Secretary of the Philippines to finalize the exchange’s registration through CEZA, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority – a special economic zone offering a number of tax incentives to companies operating in the country’s emerging fintech industry.

“This agreement is a huge win for CoinBundle and will enable us to go to market rapidly and help our users to begin saving and investing. We’re also excited to contribute to the fintech ecosystem of the Philippines and create new jobs here,” Mr. Rizvi said.

Coinbundle is one of fifteen fintech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency companies that are set to invest in CEZA, alongside Hachiman Technology Sdn BHD, MX Exchange Ventures, IPE Global PTE, Inc. Superieur Tech Pte. Ltd., CSM, Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., SuperAngels Ventures Ltd., and ANX International.

CEZA administrator, Raul Lambino, has welcomed the partnerships, stating: “Working with virtual currency companies allows the Philippines to gain momentum in providing an environment that encourages financial innovation and inclusion, while ensuring that the best interests of the country, the financial system, consumers, and investors are adequately protected. This new development aims to drive the economy forward by creating employment opportunities and boosting job growth. The Philippines will be ready to provide cryptocurrency companies operating here with the manpower they need for their businesses.”

Singapore Expected To Ease Exchange Regulations

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsThe emergence of new trends in trading platforms and technologies, including those pertaining to decentralized and cryptocurrency exchanges, has prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to re-evaluate its legislative apparatus governing the regulation of exchanges.

In a consultation paper issued by the financial regulator, MAS states that it has “observed the emergence of new business models in trading platforms, including trading facilities that make use of blockchain technology, or platforms that allow peer-to-peer trading without the involvement of intermediaries. As the current [recognized market operators (RMO)] regime has been in place since 2002, it is timely to review the regulatory framework for market operators to ensure that it continues to meet the demands of the changing landscape.”

The consultation proposes developing a three-tiered RMO regulatory regime for market operators, and “invites comments from all financial institutions and other interested parties.”

Okex Suspends Withdrawals After Users Experience Glitches

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsOkex, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, suspended withdrawal and fiat trading services on the 22nd of May, following reports from users that their accounts had suddenly displayed enormous balances.

Several users posted snapshots displaying balances that had appeared to suddenly accrue balances of more than 15,000 BTC (over $110 million USD), and other users reported that transfers in USDT were not deducting the sent tokens from their balance, however, the transferred funds were successfully received by the recipient. Abnormal cryptocurrency prices were also reported, with BTC suddenly appearing to have abruptly dropped to $6,002, and ETH suddenly jumping up to $736.

Okex posted an announcement stating “Due to a technical error, the account balances of a few of our users are not displayed accurately. Of course, you can rest assured that your funds are safe, secured, and not affected by the recent update. We are currently fixing the issue and have suspended withdrawal service and fiat trading.”

As of this writing, Okex’s most recent announcement states that “Fixing of the database error [is] already completed, but we are currently still verifying the data and records of our users. Withdrawal and fiat trading are estimated to resume at approximately 17:00 May 23 (Hong Kong time). Please rest assured that your funds are safe and secured.”

Do you think that more financial regulators should follow in the steps of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and update their guidelines in consideration of the cryptocurrency revolution? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in Greece

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in Greece

In Monday’s Bitcoin in Brief, Belgium’s financial watchdog, which earlier this year published a warning about potentially fraudulent platforms promising fast and easy profits to crypto investors, has just expanded its blacklist. In Russia, reports have surfaced of a plot to assassinate Alexander Vinnik in Greece, where he fights an extradition request from US authorities accusing him of laundering billions of dollars, including funds from the hacked Mt. Gox. Elsewhere, Australia allocates budget for blockchain research, and Dubai-based exchange Bitoasis suspends dirham withdrawals.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority has expanded its list of unauthorized and potentially fraudulent crypto companies operating in the country. The financial watchdog has recently published a new warning noting that “the FSMA is receiving an increasing number of consumer complaints regarding investments in cryptocurrencies [and] once again warns the public about these platforms, often operated by fraudsters who are now resorting to cryptocurrencies to swindle consumers.” The regulator also said that people who have invested through these platforms often complain they never recover their funds.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in Greece

In March, the FSMA published its first list of 19 suspicious crypto platforms saying it had received “questions or complaints from consumers and has established indications of fraud,” as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The agency stressed that the compilation does not include all questionable crypto trading platforms, but only those whose fraudulent practices have been reported by consumers. Last week the Belgian financial authority reminded investors that these companies usually claim to offer the best trading platforms for both beginners and professionals.

Plot to Assassinate Vinnik Uncovered in Greece

Law enforcement authorities in Greece have reportedly uncovered a plot to kill Alexander Vinnik in jail. The Russian national was detained in Greece at the request of the United States on suspicions of money laundering in connection with the Mt. Gox hack. “Greek law enforcement received intelligence on plans to prepare an assassination via poisoning with the help of criminals. The head of the prison and the prosecutor of the city of Thessaloniki have summoned Vinnik and informed him about the plot. Special security measures were taken in connection with that,” a source familiar with the details told Sputnik.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in GreeceAccording to the report, Vinnik is not allowed to accept any items, including food or beverages, from people he doesn’t know. His contacts with other inmates have been limited and measures have been taken to improve his personal security. Greek police received information about the murder plot earlier this year but it was not made public in order to help the investigation. The presumed murder attempt is said to be linked to the criminal underground and not the special services of any country. According to the quoted source, the assassination has been ordered by someone in Russia. Vinnik has recently expressed readiness to testify to Russian authorities for fintech-related crimes in his home country.

Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July last year at the request of authorities in the US, where he is suspected of laundering between $4 and $9 billion dollars through the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, including funds obtained from the notoriously hacked bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Russia has also asked for his extradition on other charges and Vinnik himself prefers to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in Moscow. The Russian IT specialist has also filed a petition for political asylum in Greece hoping to avoid extradition to the United States.

Australia to Finance Blockchain Research Through Budget

Australian authorities intend to finance the research of blockchain technologies through the federal budget for 2018/2019. According to the annual budget report, the government will provide additional $0.7 million AUD (>$0.5 million USD) for the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) which will be tasked to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for government services. The agency is expected to use the funds to conduct “research to determine the current maturity of blockchain, assess the readiness for government to adopt the technology, and identify problems that blockchain might be able to solve,” and also, to “understand the potential of using blockchain to support government services.”

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in Greece

Set up in 2015, DTA aims to facilitate the digitization of the Australian government. The agency has received a total of $92.4 million AUD (almost $70 million USD) in this year’s budget. That means the funds allocated for blockchain research are less than 1%. Nevertheless, the country has already recognized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and passed legislation that treats cryptos like fiat money in the context of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies. In April, Australia introduced regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges. The country’s financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, has taken measures against “deceptive and misleading initial coin offerings.”

Dubai Exchange Bitoasis Suspends Dirham Withdrawals

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Belgium Expands List of Fraudulent Crypto Platforms, Plot to Kill Vinnik Uncovered in GreeceDubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoasis has announced a temporary suspension of deposits and withdrawals in UAE dirhams. The trading platform warned its customers that if they want to access their dirham balances or deposit dirhams into in their accounts via wire transfers they will have to initiate an order no later than Tuesday, May 15. Such transactions will not be processed after that date. According to the notice sent to account holders, credit card deposits will be possible until June 16.

In the letter, quoted by Arabian Business, Bitoasis claims the restrictions were imposed due to issues with the bank it works with. Other means of buying and selling cryptocurrencies on the platform, as well as digital coin withdrawals to other wallets, are not affected, the exchange noted. “If you decide to leave your fiat balances, the only way for you to withdraw your funds at any time after May 15 would be to convert them to cryptocurrency and send them to an external wallet,” the statement reads. Bitoasis warns clients that it cannot provide a specific date for reactivating AED fiat withdrawals.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief stories? Tells in the comments section below.   


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Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Japanese exchange Coincheck has announced partial resumption of operations with Monero. Its clients will be able to withdraw and sell XMR, but purchases are still unavailable. All previous requests for transactions have been canceled and users will have to initiate new transfers. They will be required to confirm the destination address, and state the purpose of each transaction. 

Also read: Coincheck Recorded Profit Despite the Hack While Victims Hit with Taxes

Identity Verification Introduced

Hacked Japanese exchange Coincheck has announced it is partially resuming operations with the privacy coin Monero. Withdraws and sales of XMR will be available to its users, but not purchases. According to a notice published on its website on Monday, new procedures have been introduced to ensure security for the traders.

All previous requests for transactions have been canceled and users will have to initiate new transfers. They will also be required to confirm the destination address, and state the reason for each transaction in a dedicated field. The system will automatically request confirmation for the information associated with every transaction.

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Another security feature that has been introduced by the platform is the mandatory identity verification for users sending funds in any cryptocurrency or Japanese yen. The initial verification process may take up to several days, Coincheck informs its customers, asking for their understanding.

When sending/selling XMR, traders will be prompted to confirm the information they have provided with their registration. Any change to the details has to be verified before a crypto withdrawal can be processed. A confirmation screen will be displayed during the first transaction request after the resumption of the operations with Monero. The purpose of the remittance should be stated.

Price Fluctuations May Triger Suspension of Trade

Coincheck warns that due to the expected traffic its clients may face difficulties when trying to connect to the platform’s servers. The exchange also notes that if the trading volume increases rapidly, or if any unforeseen problems occur, it may temporarily or even permanently suspend trading at its own discretion. The same could happen “automatically” in case of sudden price fluctuations.

In the press release, Coincheck apologizes again for the suspension of its services following the attack on the platform in January. The Japanese exchange lost some ¥58 billion worth of NEM (~$550 million USD at the time) in one of the biggest hacks in crypto history. According to cybersecurity experts quoted by the Japanese press, half of the XEM coins have been laundered already on the darknet. In March, the NEM Foundation announced it would no longer track the stolen cryptos. Customers who lost funds have been compensated in yen.

Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and SalesImplementing measures to recover from the heist, Coincheck was expected to drop three cryptocurrencies providing high levels of anonymity – Monero, Zcash, and Dash. According to sources quoted by the Japan Times, the exchange has recognized the risks associated with these coins that can potentially facilitate money laundering. It has been previously criticized by regulators for its policies allowing traders to remain anonymous. According to some recent reports, Japan’s Financial Services Agency has been urging trading platforms to delist privacy coins.

Coincheck insists that it has taken adequate steps to maintain security and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. It also says that it will resume trading gradually, giving priority to the protection of the assets of its customers. The cryptocurrency trading platform is operated by Coin Check Co., Ltd. On April 16 the company became a subsidiary of Monex Group, a large Japanese online brokerage firm. Toshihiko Katsuya, Former Chief Operating Officer of Monex Group, now serves as President and CEO of Coin Check Co.

Do expect Coincheck to resume normal trading operations in the near future? Tell us in the comments sections below.


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Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs with Zero Fees

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero Fees

Another Indian cryptocurrency exchange has launched crypto-to-crypto trading. Koinex is offering 23 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs with zero fees. Earlier this week, leading Indian exchange Zebpay also launched crypto-to-crypto trading but with only one trading pair.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Koinex’s Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero FeesIndian exchange Koinex announced last week, “We are delighted to announce the commencement of crypto-to-crypto trading on our platform,” elaborating:

We are going live with not just one or two crypto-crypto pairs; we are launching a total of 15 token pairs, all at the same time!…This is the largest crypto-crypto pair offering by any Indian exchange and to add to this, the trading fees will be zero.

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero FeesThe exchange then announced on Saturday the addition of 8 more crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, set to go live on Saturday night.

In addition, the “seller fee has been revised to 0.15% for the INR market. Buyer fee is now fixed at a flat rate of 0.15%,” Koinex detailed.

As for deposits, the exchange clarified, “INR deposits via UPI and Netbanking are now live with payment gateway 2. Deposit fee is 1.18% for UPI and 2% for Netbanking.” However, Koinex reiterated that “all other payment methods are discontinued…All INR withdrawals are temporarily halted.”

23 New Trading Pairs

Koinex currently has 19 coins listed for trading against the Indian rupee. Its 24-hour trading volume for all cryptocurrencies is approximately $5.5 million, according to Coinmarketcap.

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero FeesFor crypto-to-crypto trading, there are nine bitcoin trading pairs, six ether, and eight ripple –a total of 23. Bitcoin and ether trading pairs are already live and ripple pairs are set to go live on Saturday night, the exchange clarified. “For the first time in the crypto world, Koinex proudly presents XRP-based trading market with 8 XRP pairs going live tonight.”

“The tokens available in the bitcoin market will be ethereum (ETH/BTC), litecoin (LTC/BTC), TRON (TRX/BTC), ripple (XRP/BTC), omisego (OMG/BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH/BTC), EOS (EOS/BTC), nucleus vision (NCASH/BTC), and request (REQ/BTC),” Koinex wrote.

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero FeesFor the ether market, in addition to BTC, the exchange is offering trading pairs for BCH, TRX, XRP, OMG, EOS, and NCASH.

For the ripple market, customers can trade BTC as well as LTC, TRX, EOS, OMG, REQ, NCASH, AE (aeternity), and GNT (golem).

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero Fees

Bypassing RBI’s Order

Indian Exchange Launches 23 Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Pairs With Zero FeesOne of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Zebpay, also launched crypto-to-crypto trading last week with one trading pair – ETH/BTC.

Both Zebpay and Koinex launched their crypto-to-crypto trading services after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued an order banning banks and financial institutions under its control from dealing “in virtual currencies or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies,” Koinex described, adding that:

Such services include maintaining accounts, registering, trading, settling, clearing, giving loans against virtual tokens, accepting them as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges dealing with them and transfer / receipt of money in accounts relating to purchase/ sale of virtual currencies.

The exchange warned that RBI’s order could cause “a disruption in [its] banking services” which “may affect our capacity to service withdrawals and deposits seamlessly.”

The RBI has since been taken to court by Kali Digital Eco-Systems. The Delhi High Court has accepted the company’s petition and issued a notice to the central bank. Other exchange operators are also planning to challenge the regulator as a consortium.

What do you think of Koinex launching crypto-to-crypto trading with 23 trading pairs? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline

Just recently a consumer research group called Valuepenguin did an analysis on complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) between June 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018. According to the study, after the significant 50-60 percent downturn in cryptocurrency values, consumer complaints surged by 669 percent.

Also Read: Israeli Supreme Court Forbids Bank From Denying Service to Bitcoin Exchange

Crypto-Consumer Complaints Rise by 669%

Cryptocurrencies reached all-time highs last year and BTC/USD markets touched $19,600 per coin on December 16th. Since then a lot has changed as most crypto-assets have lost at least half or more of their fiat value since that date. The consumer analysis group Valuepenguin decided to do a study on the number of complaints filed with the CFPB between June 1, 2017, and March 1, 2018. The results were staggering, showing a 669 percent increase in consumer complaints after the prices of digital currencies dropped in value this year.

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline
Consumer complaint chart against the BTC/USD chart.

It Seems Customers Want Their Money When They Want It

Some key takeaways from researcher David Ascienzo’s Valuepenguin study detailed the biggest complaint, by more than 40 percent of the files, showed dissatisfied customers who were unable to withdraw their funds. 32 percent of the issues derived from transaction issues and fraud complaints. Transaction problems included long wire transfer delays and a lot of gripes were directed at crypto-businesses and the lack of customer service.  

“Money being unavailable was the number one complaint and consumers struggled to transfer and trade their cryptocurrencies at a critical time — Complaints spiked to a climax during the week where price decline was steepest,” explains Ascienzo’s findings.

Higher numbers of complaints rolled in just as prices started crashing, reaching a climax during the week of sharpest descent. Even then, BTC prices didn’t fall anywhere near where they were in the earlier half of 2017, but the data shows an array of negative experiences for consumers struggling to manage their coins when it mattered the most.

Consumer Complaints Rise 669% After Crypto Prices Decline
The top 5 consumer issues with cryptocurrency companies.

Beefing Up Customer Support

One company that was highlighted during the research was the San Francisco cryptocurrency firm Coinbase. The Valuepenguin study even highlights a few quotes from some of the customer complaints directed at Coinbase. The complaints against the digital currency firm emphasized withdrawal and deposit issues. News.Bitcoin.com also reported on the study Lend EDU did this past August that showed the first signs of increasing consumer complaints, and Coinbase was at the top of the list. However, the head of customer support at Coinbase, Tina Bhatnagar, announced on March 1 that the company was hiring 500 customer support agents this year.

“My first, and most obvious observation was that we needed more people to handle the inbound volume of support requests and a solid plan to handle any spikes in volume, Bhatnagar stated at the time. Our first group of 90 new agents will start on March 5th and we will be adding a group of agents every week until we hit our goal of 500 in late May.”

The latest study also shows some consumers were unable to access funds as much as $100,000 USD. Moreover, according to the Ascienzo’s research, the cryptocurrency companies had managed to close all of the complaints filed. Complaints submitted to the CFPB were closed with an explanation from the company, but the research could not tell if any customers received any restitution. The author notes that all the data was derived from the public CFPB databases and he used bitcoin historical prices from the website Coinmarketcap.

What do you think about complaints rising by 669 percent? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


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Two Indian Token Marketplaces Suspend Trading Due to Regulatory Pressure

Two Indian Token Marketplaces Suspend Trading Due to Regulatory Pressure

Two Indian crypto token marketplaces have announced that they will halt trading from March 5. The platforms state that this is due to regulatory pressure which put their businesses “under a lot of stress.”

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Two Token Marketplaces Halt Trading

Two Indian Token Marketplaces Suspend Trading Due to Regulatory PressureTwo Indian crypto token marketplaces, Btcxindia and Ethexindia, have announced that they will “halt cryptocurrency trading from March 5,” the Economic Times reported.

Over 35,000 members have used the two platforms, the news outlet added. Btcxindia, which began as one of India’s oldest bitcoin exchanges, has been operating for four years. However, last year the platform dropped bitcoin trading to offer real-time ripple (XRP) trading for Indian rupees (INR). Btcxindia recently posted a notice on its website, stating:

Customers are advised to withdraw their funds (BTC, XRP and INR) on or before 04 March 2018, if not [their accounts] will attract annual wallet maintenance fees…XRP/INR trading will be halted effective from 05 March 2018.

Two Indian Token Marketplaces Suspend Trading Due to Regulatory PressureEthexindia is “India’s first ether exchange,” according to its website. The platform, which has been offering ether (ETH) trading for rupees for two years, has also halted both INR and ETH deposits. “Deposits received, if any, will be automatically reverted to the respective bank accounts,” the company emphasized, adding that, “ETH/INR trading has been halted from 01 March 2018. Customers are kindly advised to withdraw their INR and ETH.”

Both marketplaces are managed by S Capital Solutions Pvt Ltd. Other than these two platforms, S Capital also has a 12% equity stake in Crypt E Tech Solution, the company behind bitcoin payment service provider Blockonomics, according to its website.

Regulatory Pressure Mounting

The Indian government has been discussing the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The roles of the regulators for cryptocurrencies have reportedly been decided and the law governing bitcoin is expected soon. Btcxindia recently informed its members:

As we heard in the budget speech, the Indian government is discouraging cryptocurrency trading. This has been clear also by government actions in the last year, and has put our business under a lot of stress and put us in a position where we don’t feel that we can continue our business in a professional manner any longer.

The company emphasized that “Until new rules are in place for tokens on public blockchains, we are halting our trading platform,” adding that the company will now focus solely on its blockchain consultancy work.

What do you think of these two platforms suspending trading because of regulatory pressure? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

South Korean banks have been providing virtual account services to cryptocurrency exchanges and earning commissions from them. According to data obtained by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, banks made 36 times more in commission income from crypto exchanges last year than the previous year.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Banks Earned 36x More From Crypto Accounts

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has obtained data from banks relating to their virtual account services to crypto exchanges. It includes data from the six banks inspected by the regulators last week: Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank, and Industrial Bank of Korea.

The agency revealed on Thursday that the total commission income banks earned from these services last year was 2.221 billion won (~USD$2.1 million), which is 36 times more than the 61 million won earned the previous year, Yonhap reported.

Upbit’s Bank Tops the List

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksBanks make money from cryptocurrency exchanges by charging them approximately 200 to 300 won per customer deposit, the news outlet detailed, adding that crypto traders pay higher commissions to the exchanges when withdrawing funds.

According to the FSS, the Industrial Bank of Korea earned the most from virtual account services last year. The bank provides these services to Upbit, which has recently become the world’s largest exchange by volume. Upbit is backed by Kakao Corp, the operator of South Korea’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk. The bank “earned a total of 675 million won by setting a virtual account fee of 300 won per deposit,” the publication conveyed.

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe bank with the second highest commission income from crypto-related services is Nonghyup Bank which provides virtual account services to Bithumb and Coinone. The bank earned 654 million won from these services last year.

Shinhan Bank provides virtual account services to a few crypto exchanges including Bithumb and Korbit, bringing it 621 million won last year. Kookmin Bank made 155 million won, the Korea Development Bank made 61 million won, and Woori Bank earned 59 million won from crypto exchanges last year.

Currently, the South Korean government has mandated banks to stop issuing new virtual accounts until they have installed the new a real-name identification system. Banks will also be required to check the purpose of trading and the source of funds for each crypto account holder.

What do you think about banks charging these fees for cryptocurrency accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.


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