Coinbase Vouches Lawful Working in India as Its UPI-Buy Feature Faces NPCI Disapproval

Allowing UPI-based crypto buying essentially opens investment avenues in high-risk asset class for millions of Indians.

Coinbase Vouches Lawful Working in India as Its UPI-Buy Feature Faces NPCI Disapproval

Photo Credit: Coinbase

Coinbase has said its experimenting with UPI payments for crypto buying in India to make process easy

Highlights
  • NPCI says it’s unaware about any crypto exchange using UPI
  • Coinbase says it’s working with payment partners in India for UPI
  • Coinbase has not disclosed names of its payment partners as yet

Coinbase found itself in a tight spot after the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) refused to recognise its UPI-linked crypto-buying offering announced on April 8. In a clarification, the US-headquartered crypto exchange has said that it is experimenting with different payment methods and partners in India, in order to bring in more ways for Indians to purchase cryptocurrencies. While the NPCI has said that it's not aware of any crypto exchange using the UPI, Coinbase said it's committed to adhere by India's rules and regulations.

“We are aware of the recent statement published by NPCI regarding the use of UPI by cryptocurrency exchanges. We are committed to working with NPCI and other relevant authorities to ensure we are aligned with local expectations and industry norms,” a Coinbase spokesperson told Gadgets 360.

Overseen by the NPCI, Unified Payments Interface or UPI is a heavily used online payments mode used in India. Over 300 million Indians reportedly use UPI to instantly transfer money from one account to another via apps such as BharatPe and Google Pay.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took the stage in Bengaluru on April 7 to announce that Indians will be able to buy crypto assets on its platform via the UPI method.

New Project 6 coinbase_india_upi

Coinbase has said that its working with unnamed 'payment partners' in India to facilitate UPI-based crypto buying
Photo Credit: Coinbase

The move essentially opens investment avenues in this high-risk asset class for millions of people.

The crypto exchange has said that its experimenting with the feature as it could provide a rapid and simple way of making payments for crypto buyers.

“We are working with trusted payment partners to enable the above payment method. The banks have been receptive but we are unable to disclose the names at this stage,” people familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360 on the condition of anonymity.

While the UPI-backed crypto buying feature is still under a ‘Waitlist' tab on the Coinbase app, its announcement stirred quite the buzz among crypto enthusiasts in India.

NPCI's reaction to the news however, did seemingly dampen the public excitement a bit.

While further development on the situation remain awaited, Coinbase is set to host an in-person pitch fest in Bengaluru for ‘cryptopreneurs' today, April 8.

The investment arm of Coinbase crypto exchange is offering funding of up to $1 million (roughly Rs. 7.5 crore) to Indian crypto and Web 3 firms.


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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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