UPI Was Central to Coinbase India Launch; Now the Crypto Exchange Says It's 'Unavailable'

Coinbase India's trading launch hits yet another snag.

AccessTimeIconApr 10, 2022 at 1:31 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:19 p.m. UTC

In its trading launch in India three days ago, Coinbase (COIN) had made using UPI, a popular payments system in the nation, central to its services. However, now UPI services are "temporarily unavailable" on the app.

  • At the launch, Surojit Chatterjee, Coinbase's chief product officer, had explained how using UPI would be the first step for India's citizens wishing to buy crypto on its platform. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong had said, "India has shown a great willingness with UPI."
  • UPI, or Unified Payments Interface, is a popular real-time payment system that allows peer-to-peer and retail transactions. The platform is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank, and falls under the purview of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • On Thursday, hours after Coinbase's trading launch in India, NPCI tweeted it is "not aware of any crypto exchange" using UPI. At the time, Coinbase responded with a statement that said it was actively experimenting with a number of payment methods., one of which was UPI and that it was"committed to working with NPCI and other relevant authorities to ensure we are aligned with local expectations and industry norms."
  • Regarding today's development, Coinbase said it has no comment.
  • The news of Coinbase's UPI services becoming temporarily unavailable was first reported by the Economic Times.
  • It is not clear whether the UPI services have been disabled by Coinbase or by UPI itself.


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Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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