Cryptocurrency situation in India remains harsh and unfriendly towards cryptos and crypto exchanges alike. However, while this situation has forced a lot of exchanges to either close shop or leaves India, it seems that Malta is benefiting from it.
Zebpay moves to Malta
According to new reports, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Zebpay, seems to be one of the exchanges that decided to relocate. After India’s RBI led a crackdown on exchanges, Zebpay had no alternative but to close. For many, this seemed to be the end of this exchange.
However, according to new reports first published by Quartz, Zebpay seems to have found a new home in Malta. Zebpay’s goal now is to serve not only Malta’s own citizens and residents but also the rest of Europe as well. Their website lists around 20 countries that will be allowed to access Zebpay and benefit from its services. Among others, the exchange mentioned France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.
As part of its new beginning, Zebpay also decided to adopt a new name — Awlencan. Their decision to close down shop in India was announced last month, with the exchange blaming the RBI for this decision. At that time, the Reserve Bank of India issued an order that prevented all other banks in this country from offering their service to cryptocurrency-related businesses. Naturally, this also includes crypto exchanges.
Back then, Zebpay complained that this decision singlehandedly crippled not only the exchange but also its customers. They also said that no other reasonable way remains for them to conduct their business, which is why the exchange had no choice but to shut down.
The RBI decision still forcing crypto businesses to leave India
At the time, Zebpay was only around three years old, but it already served around three million users. Additionally, they had hundreds of thousands of new customers per month, all of which were left without a trading platform after Zebpay’s announcement.
The mentioned order to abort all dealings with crypto companies originally came in April 2018. At the time, many had hoped that the RBI will reconsider their decision, which is something that has not happened to this day. As a result, many have taken the Central Bank to court, although it doesn’t seem that the issue will be quickly resolved.
Apart from damaging different crypto businesses, the ban on dealing with crypto firms also affected India’s entire blockchain ecosystem. Recent reports even mentioned a large “brain drain” in India’s blockchain space. Not only that, but multiple businesses and investors alike started leaving the country in search of a more productive and conducive environment.
So far, it remains unknown whether India’s crypto situation will be resolved, or whether it can recover from such a massive blow. While this country still has a large interest in crypto and blockchain technologies, a lot of its companies are simply abandoning it. Zebpay, among many others, seems to have found a new home in a more stable and appreciative ecosystem, which leaves the question — what awaits cryptocurrencies in India?