Coinbase (COIN) has now made its crypto trading services available to users in India, the firm said on Thursday.
- The exchange's app will now be active in the country, the firm said at an event in India's tech hub, Bengaluru. Coinbase is the world's second-largest exchange by trade volume.
- Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, who has been in India over the last few weeks announced that the company is making "a long-term investment" in India. The firm's Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee later demonstrated user onboarding on the exchange.
- The announcement comes at a time when India has announced stiff new crypto taxes. The law includes a 30% tax on profits from crypto transactions, which came into effect on April 1, and a controversial 1% tax deducted at source (TDS), which will be effective from July 1.
- Armstrong acknowledged the regulatory challenge in promoting the technology to mass acceptance at a time when enthusiasm has dipped due to the new tax law. "We know it's not going to be a straight shot to bring this technology. We don't know exactly how it's going to evolve. But we're committed to working with bank partners, regulators [and] most importantly, the Indian people because they've shown a real spark of interest in cryptocurrency, and there's a real desire to get access to some of these services and products," he said.
- The onboarding on Coinbase would require setting up a UPI payment method. UPI (unified payments interface) is an instant real-time payment system allowing peer to peer and person to merchant transactions, which is regulated by the Indian central bank.
- Armstrong said, "India has shown a great willingness with UPI." Chatterjee explained how setting up UPI would be the first step in buying crypto. Chatterjee also said Coinbase has "invested over $150 million in over 10 companies in India" including "Polygon, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch."
- Earlier this week, Coinbase announced its plans to hire 1,000 people in India at its tech hub by the end of the year.
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