It appears the tough stance on cryptocurrency has taken its toll in India, as the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptokart, Gaurang Poddar, announced last week that his exchange service would be shutting down operations. This notice came in a post published on LinkedIn.
In the post, the founder explained that this was a difficult decision: “Difficult, given the hard work we’ve put in.” However, he added, “It’s been a great experience and I’m glad to have gotten to work with such a talented and passionate team and proud of the platform we’ve built.”
The shutdown highlights what has been a challenging atmosphere in India for cryptocurrency startups. In June, the Mumbai based Koinex was forced to shut down operations, ending its digital assets, exchange service, and operations as denials of payment services from banks and other payment gateways was making it impossible for the company to provide trading in digital assets.
At the time, Koinex claimed that they had over 1 million users of their platform, and had executed over 20 million orders. They further claim that over $3 billion had transacted through their platform. However, the hostile atmosphere toward cryptocurrencies in India looks to have taken its toll.
While not completely illegal to own cryptocurrencies, it is no secret that the financial world within the country has not been receptive to digital currencies. With a lack of regulation on the part of the government governing cryptocurrencies, it has made it difficult for exchanges to operate. This has caused investors to avoid India, which has created one of the most challenging atmospheres for any person looking to get involved in the digital asset world.
The country has even taken a harsh legal stance toward those dealing in cryptocurrencies. In June, lawmakers in India proposed enforcing a 10-year jail term on any citizen who was dealing in digital assets. This was part of a proposed law, called the “Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019,” which would ban all forms of sale or exchange of cryptocurrencies within the country.
Many countries who have had a hardline stance toward cryptocurrencies are changing their positions, including China. However, this does not appear to be the case in India, where concerns about this form of currency are only increasing. This has even caused Facebook to begin to question if their soon to be released digital currency, Libra, will have any chance of being used within India.
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