Coinbase launches cryptocurrency trading services in India and announces UPI support for direct purchases
Coinbase, the US-based crypto company that operates the world's second-largest exchange by trade volume, has announced that its trading services, which include the ability to trade up to 157 crypto assets and the ability to buy cryptocurrencies in Indian currency, will now be available to users in India.
Coinbase announced the move during a crypto community gathering in Bangalore, along with chat assistance for Indian customers, an early-bird sign-up bonus, and a referral scheme to entice new users.
According to Economic Survey 2021-22, the popular exchange will allow users to acquire cryptocurrencies via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which is now the single largest retail payment network in the country in terms of number of transactions. However, for the time being, the firm has not listed any of its financial partners for UPI payments.
Coinbase's co-founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong, addressed the stage during the event and revealed that the business is making a "long-term investment" in India. To entice clients to test the Coinbase app, the business announced an incentive payout of Rs. 201 to new users upon completion of their first purchase on the site.
The statement comes after Armstrong wrote on his India-focused blog, "Coinbase Ventures has already invested $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,132 crore) in Indian technology companies in the crypto and Web 3 space. Combined with India's world class software talent, we believe that crypto and Web 3 technology can help accelerate India's economic and financial inclusion goals."
Coinbase also intends to double its workforce in India by the end of 2022, adding 1,000 to the present 300-person workforce at its Indian innovation hub, which opened last year. "We have ambitious plans for India and seek to hire over 1,000 people in our India hub this year alone," Armstrong stated in a blog post.
In a February blog post, the business also stated that it intends to "double down on regional investments, adding to its portfolio of platforms such as CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX in India..." in order to "accelerate the growth of the crypto economy globally."
It's also worth mentioning that the Indian government is adopting a cautious approach to the developing digital assets sector, but has no plans to outright ban it.
Starting April 1, a 30% tax will be taken from any profits produced by crypto trading in India, in addition to a 1% TDS on each crypto transaction. Failure to comply with the new tax rules might result in a seven-year prison sentence.
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