NPCI unaware of crypto trading via UPI as Coinbase launches in India

NPCI unaware of crypto trading via UPI as Coinbase launches in India

Indian payments and settlement agency, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has reportedly stated that it is not aware of any cryptocurrency exchange platform operating in the country via the UPI payment system.

The voluntary statement comes just hours after leading crypto trading platform, Coinbase, launched its service in India by adding support for UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments. It also highlights why crypto exchanges in the country have been unsuccessful in supporting UPI on their platform

The statement from NPCI, the payments governing body that operates as a special division under India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), suggests that UPI is still out of bounds for crypto in the country.

While crypto is legal in the South Asian market, the central bank continues to assert that more scrutiny is needed for virtual digital assets. Even as the Supreme Court overturned RBI's ban on crypto more than two years ago, banks across India continue to side with RBI in the matter.

Coinbase’s launch event took place on 7th April in Bengaluru and was attended by many top chief execs, including Coinbase's CEO Brian Armstrong.

The American firm announced the launch of its crypto trading service in the country, with its officials stating that its app will allow users to buy crypto with UPI, the most popular payment system used by the nation’s population for online transactions.

Coinbase, which has invested in Indian crypto trading platforms, CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber, has not yet revealed which banking/fintech partner it is working with in the country, but has stated that it is committed to working with NPCI and other relevant authorities to make sure it is in tune with the industry norms and local expectations.

The company stated that UPI is just one of the payment methods it is experimenting with to allow users to purchase crypto in the country, adding that it is actively looking at a number of different payment methods as well as partners.

It should be noted that UPI was the only payments method that was talked about and demonstrated at Coinbase’s launch event. It is unclear whether the company will continue offering support for UPI in India while it sorts out the matter with NPCI.

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