According to the Ministry of Finance, the Enforcement Directorate is investigating several crypto cases for money-laundering schemes. This comes as a blow to the nascent space, which has been reeling from the tremulous market conditions. The authorities have so far seized $115.5 million in such crimes.
The Indian crime fighting agency has been cracking down on criminals abetted by cryptocurrency. In addition to arresting five individuals, the ministry has sent a show cause notice to local exchange WazirX and its directors for transactions exceeding $338 million. This move is likely part of the government’s efforts to crack down on illegal activities related to cryptocurrencies.
The disclosure suggests that the Indian government is closely scrutinizing the activities of cryptocurrency firms even as regulations have been delayed. This could be a move to further regulate the industry, or it could simply be an effort to better understand what is going on.
The announcement from the Ministry of Finance has caused a wave of reactions and concern amongst cryptocurrencies users in South Asia. Some seem to be happy with the new development, as it gives them more protection from illegal activities, while others are worried that this will make it harder to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies. It is still unclear how these rules will be enforced, and whether or not any exemptions will be made for popular exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance.
As the world moves towards embracing cryptocurrencies, it is only natural that various countries begin to require know your customer verification from those operating in the crypto space. This includes exchanges and wallet providers, as well as individuals who are buying or selling cryptocurrencies.
India is positioning itself as a leader in cryptocurrency regulation, setting the stage for future global collaboration on this burgeoning industry. The country is working to develop a global framework for regulation of unbacked crypto assets, stablecoins and decentralized finance, prioritizing consumer protection and stability. This effort could foster increased trust and confidence in the nascent market, supporting larger investments and innovation down the line.
To create and trade cryptocurrencies in India, exchanges need to dip into their own pockets in order to pay taxes. This business instability has caused many local exchanges to close down, leaving the Indian cryptocurrency market deserted.
Despite its attitude, Binance is still trying to make a mark in the Indian market, and has rolled out a number of innovative products in an effort to compete. For example, the firm has recently announced that it will be launching its own blockchain platform-BNB which it says will be making it easier for developers to build decentralized applications (DApps).