Amid Anti-Crypto Environment, Bithumb to Open Crypto Exchange in India
Global Bithumb has announced it is opening trading for indian customers. The move goes against a ban on Indian financial institutions providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto-related companies.
The ban, announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April 2018, precipitated the shutdown of several India-based exchanges that found little benefit in the regulatory environment: Zebpay left India in September 2018, Coinome suspended operations in May, Koinex stopped trading in June, and Cryptokart finally called it quits in July.
Exchange operators have been battling against it, and the Indian supreme court is taking up the matter, which is expected to hear the case on October 15.
The step by Bithumb Global can be of benefit, regardless of the court's decision. It wants to work in conjunction with local exchanges, transforming them into partners, and "giving them a strong liquidity base to expand," according to its press release.
It will itself be one of the country's largest players with or without the decimated exchange market. The 30-day adjusted trading volume exceeds $5 billion, despite only emerging at the end of September from beta. Its also confidently offering Indian users who sign up the equivalent of $10 in its stablecoin, BUSD.
Meanwhile, as the RBI case makes its way through the courts, the government has been contemplating what position to take on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
A government committee suggested that the laws should be drafted to make it illegal for merely holding cryptocurrencies. The same report suggested that RBI consider issuing its own official cryptocurrency.
Bithumb Global's move is a gamble while court and legislative rulings are in the balance. But it's likely one worth taking as it's hard to resist a market with over a billion potential users.