Zebpay, one of India’s biggest crypto-exchanges is shutting down with only several hours’ notice.
Nearly six months after the Reserve Bank of India imposed a ban on cryptocurrencies, a non-supportive environment has now crippled the exchange.
India Cryptocurrency Ban
In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued its crypto-ban, prohibiting any regulated financial institution from offering crypto-services.
“It has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [cryptocurrencies]. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time,” the Reserve Bank of India said.
While exchanges tried to reverse the ban, the case has been delayed repeatedly. So, so far, no progress.
As a result, trading volume on Zebpay had been rapidly falling. In July, for example, the company announced it was halting Indian rupee deposits and withdrawals. That alone sent trading volume from $5 million to just over $200,000.
Disaster Strikes the Exchange
Citing “extremely difficult” conditions in trying to process customer orders, the exchange only gave several hours’ notice of its decision.
“Despite regulatory and banking problems along our journey, we continued to look for solutions as we did not want India to miss the bus of digital assets that power the public blockchain. However, the recent past has been extremely difficult. The curbs on bank accounts have crippled our, and our customers’, ability to transact business,” Zebpay said. “As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities. At 4 pm today, we will cancel all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and credit your coins / tokens back to your Zebpay wallet.”
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