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OKX to Reportedly Discontinue Service in India: Users Directed to Close Positions

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Cryptocurrency exchange OKX has reportedly said that its services in India are being discontinued due to local regulations. In an email notification sent on March 21st, the platform urged users in the country to close their positions by the end of April.

The latest development comes on the heels of a continued crackdown on global crypto exchanges by the Indian government.

OKX Calls its Quits

India has intensified its efforts to tackle illegal operations by exchanges within its borders. In line with these efforts, the Indian Finance Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued a notice to nine exchanges in December last year, which included Binance, Kraken, MEXC Global, Kucoin, Huobi, Bittrex, Gate.io, Bitstamp, and Bitfinex.

Subsequently, Google and Apple removed these apps from the Play Store and App Store platforms in India. The latest development comes as a surprise, as OKX was notably absent from FIU’s list.

Over the past decade or so, numerous crypto exchanges have emerged in India. However, this hasn’t hindered global entities from attracting local traders. While domestic exchanges like CoinSwitch and CoinDCX complied with the country’s FIU registration, international exchanges operating outside the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) framework continued to attract a large audience.

This is primarily due to strict taxation measures implemented since 2022, imposing a 30% tax on profits and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction.

No Clarity on Crypto

During the interim budget address in February this year, India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, did not provide any updates regarding crypto regulation and taxation.

Market participants in India were eagerly anticipating relief in this regard, especially after the government announced its involvement in cooperative efforts with G20 nations, which aligned with the ministry’s position advocating for a global regulatory framework for the asset class.

Despite the market recovery, the Indian government has maintained its cautious stance, as evidenced by Sitharaman’s comments at the recent India Today Conclave. The minister reiterated concerns about illicit activities like terror funding and drug financing due to inconsistent regulations across nations.

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