Coinbase Opens Up Crypto Trading Services in India, 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 will now be available to users in India which includes the ability to trade as many as 157 crypto assets and the ability to buy cryptocurrencies in Indian currency. Announcing the move at a crypto community event in Bangalore, Coinbase has also announced chat support for Indian users, alongside an early-bird sign-up incentive and a referral programme to lure new users.

The popular exchange will allow customers to purchase cryptocurrencies using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which is currently the single largest retail payment platform in the country in terms of volume of transactions as per Economic Survey 2021-22. That said, the company has refrained from listing any of its banking partners for UPI payments for the time being.

Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, who took to stage at the event announced that the company is making “a long-term investment” in India. To incentivise customers to try the Coinbase app, the company said it is offering Rs. 201 to new users as a reward payout on completion of their first purchase on the platform.

The announcement also arrives after Armstrong posted an India-focussed blog where he said, “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 plans to quadruple the number of employees in India by the end of 2022, adding 1,000 to the existing staff strength of 300 at its Indian tech hub, which started last year. “We have ambitious plans for India and seek to hire over 1,000 people in our India hub this year alone,” Armstrong wrote in the blog.

In a blog post published back in February, the company had also mentioned that it plans to “double down on regional investments, adding to its portfolio of platforms such as CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX in India …” to “accelerate the growth of the crypto economy globally.”

It’s also worth noting that the Indian government is taking a cautious approach towards the emerging digital assets sector, but is positively not planning to ban the industry. Starting April 1, a 30 percent tax is being deducted from any profits generated via crypto trading in India, alongside a one percent TDS on each crypto transaction. Failing to comply with the new tax norms can land violators in jail for up to seven years.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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