Crypto exchanges Binance and KuCoin secure registration with India’s FIU

  • Binance and KuCoin has obtain FIU-IND approval, marking a milestone in Indian crypto regulation.
  • KuCoin pays $41,000 penalty as Binance awaits fine determination amid compliance proceedings.
  • The return of the exchanges to India signals the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in India’s regulatory framework.

In a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry In India, two major exchanges, Binance and KuCoin, have obtained registration approval from India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND), marking a pivotal moment in their journey toward regulatory compliance in the country.

This comes after months of negotiations and challenges following the ban of the two exchanges for alleged illegal operations.

Binance and Kucoin to re-enter India after ban

The path to registration was fraught with obstacles, as both Binance and KuCoin, along with several other offshore entities, faced a ban in December of the previous year for non-compliance with Indian regulations.

The ban, enforced by the Indian Finance Ministry, led to the blocking of URLs and mobile applications associated with these exchanges in January 2024. However, despite these setbacks, Binance and KuCoin emerged as the first offshore crypto-related entities to secure registration with the FIU-IND.

KuCoin took proactive steps by paying a penalty of $41,000, allowing it to resume operations in India swiftly. On the other hand, Binance’s compliance proceedings are still ongoing, with the exact penalty yet to be determined after a hearing with the FIU-IND. Reports suggest that Binance might face a fine of up to $2 million for non-compliance, highlighting the seriousness of regulatory infractions in the Indian crypto market.

Has India’s perception of crypto changed?

The approval of Binance and KuCoin signifies a shift in the perception of crypto exchanges in India and adds credibility to the regulatory framework governing the industry.

Vivek Aggarwal, the head of FIU-IND, emphasized the importance of these registrations in safeguarding the Indian economy against financial crimes. He stated that while the industry awaits parliamentary and governmental legitimacy, registered entities inherently possess a degree of credibility within the system.

India’s position on crypto has been somewhat ambiguous, with the imposition of stiff taxes and periodic crackdowns on offshore exchanges. However, the country’s push for global consensus on crypto regulation within the G20 framework reflects a proactive approach toward addressing regulatory challenges at the international level.

However, despite the challenges, India’s crypto industry continues to evolve, with efforts underway to foster a regulatory environment that balances innovation with financial security. The unveiling of a report titled “Virtual Digital Asset Service Providers: Road to Effective Compliance under PMLA” by the Bharat Web3 Association reflects a commitment to enhancing compliance standards in the crypto sector.

Moreover, the compliance efforts of crypto exchanges with Indian regulations have intensified, with platforms like Kraken, Gemini, and Gate.io initiating negotiations with regulators to address compliance issues. However, some exchanges, such as OKX and Bitstamp, have opted to exit the Indian market altogether in response to regulatory pressures.

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