Indian crypto exchange suspends rupee deposits and withdrawals

July 24, 2018
Chris Wheal

Indian crypto wallet provider and exchange Unocoin, has suspended rupee deposits and withdrawals “as per orders” from India’s central bank.

Unocoin notified its customers via a blog post that fiat deposits and withdrawals would be “temporarily disabled” until an alternative method of funding was identified and deployed.

Unocoin users can still continue to use their existing rupee balance to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, and crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pairs remain live on Unodax.

Unocoin is the latest domestic crypto name  to feel the impact of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses. implemented from July 5.

Last week, India’s cryptocurrency exchanges failed in their latest effort to overturn the RBI’s  stipulation that the country’s banks should not do business with them.

In April the RBI gave banks three months to wind down all their cryptocurrency-related accounts, a deadline that expired in the first week of July. The order was challenged by the exchanges in the Supreme Court, which resumed its hearings on 20 July.

Ban upheld

However, the ban was upheld after the hearing saw ‘limited arguments’ brought forward by lawyers on behalf of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts domestic cryptocurrency exchanges as its members, and the RBI.

The Supreme Court decided to defer the date of hearing again, and the final arguments will now be heard on September 11.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and other prominent authorities have not yet filed their responses and they now have a further eight weeks to complete them.

Some reports suggest that an inter-governmental committee  tasked with developing a framework for the cryptocurrency sector is unikely to decide on any outright ban on trading but could instead decide that cryptocurrencies be classified as commodities.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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