Crypto exchange OKX ceases services in India

Crypto exchange OKX is ceasing services for users in India, it said in an email to customers Thursday, advising them to withdraw their funds by April-end.

The move follows Apple and Google pulling the eponymous app of OKX in the country after an Indian government agency said many crypto exchanges were operating illegally in the South Asian market.

Financial Intelligence Unit, the government agency, named Binance, Kraken, Huobi and among apps operating “illegally” in India but hadn’t named OKX in its public statement.

OKX has advised customers in India to close all their active margin positions and withdraw all funds by April 30. The crypto exchange cited “local regulations” for its action.

Cryptocurrencies were brought into the ambit of anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism framework in India in March last year. Dozens of firms — including local exchanges CoinSwitch and CoinDCX — had registered with FIU, but several international exchanges remained in noncompliance with the law, FIU said late last year.

Several traders in India had flocked to global cryptocurrency platforms in an apparent move to evade taxes. India began taxing virtual currencies in 2022, levying a 30% tax on the gains and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction.

While India-based crypto exchanges continued to require rigorous know-your-customer verifications before onboarding new users, the same hasn’t been true of many global platforms. Coinbase stopped signing up consumers in India last year.

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