Business

Ed Drake

India’s Coinome cryptocurrency exchange shutting down on May 15

Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coinome has announced it is to close next week, becoming the latest victim of the downturn in cryptocurrency markets.

The firm, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, confirmed rumors in a tweet requesting customers begin withdrawing assets held at the exchange. It stated: “All crypto markets on Coinome will be suspended, effective 2pm on May 15th, 2019. Customers are requested to withdraw all their crypto assets from Coinome at the earliest.”

Exchange users on Twitter displayed mixed reactions to the news, with some expressing concern about the future of the sector. @NagPnr replied to the tweet, asking whether other exchanges were now likely to follow suit: “Will it be similar situation with other Indian exchanges in near future?”

While some users said decentralized exchanges would still be viable so long as there were sufficient trading volumes, the threat of a potential India-wide crypto ban still poses a threat to the long-term health of the industry.

The news follows the closure of several other exchanges in India, with a decisive Supreme Court case pending, which could ultimately decide the legal fate of cryptocurrencies in the country.

This prompted many exchanges to preemptively close their doors as the country’s central bank looks to legislate against trade in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Core (BTC).

The unrest for Indian exchanges comes at an already difficult time for the sector, with a number of crypto firms being forced to cut back staff costs or to wind up operations on account of the prolonged decline in crypto prices.

Dubbed the “crypto winter,” the downturn has resulted in exchanges and mining firms reporting substantial losses. With Coinome the latest casualty, there are now fears this could mean other exchanges will have to close in future.

In closing operations, Coinome follows the collapse of Coindelta, and comes as another blow to the embattled cryptocurrency sector in India.

While the Indian sector has its own particularly regulatory challenges, the downbeat picture chimes with the performance of cryptocurrency businesses in other global markets, as price pressures continue to squeeze viability.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the landmark legal case in July, in what could be the final nail in the coffin for crypto exchanges in the country.

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