Crippled by the RBI diktat not allowing banks to undertake any cryptocurrency-related transactions, India’s one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Zebpay has announced the closing of its operation.
“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities,” the company said on its blog post.
It will cancel all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and credit coins/tokens back to customer Zebpay wallet. No new orders will be accepted until further notice, it added. However, Zebpay further said that its wallet will be active and functional.
We are stopping our exchange. At 4 PM today, we will cancel unexecuted orders & credit your coins to your Zebpay wallet. No new orders will be accepted. The Zebpay wallet will work even after the exchange stops.
— zebpay September 28, 2018
In June, Zebpay had asked its users to withdraw money before the deadline following RBI mandate to ban crypto-related businesses by July 5.
In April, the RBI had released a statement directing all regulated entities, including banks, e-wallets, and payment gateway providers, to stop dealing with individuals and businesses in the partially banned cryptocurrencies.
“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs (virtual currencies). Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.” the RBI had said.
The announcement notice created panic in the Indian trading market. It reportedly led to falling down in prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
It also led to a number of exchanges such as Unicoin, Wazirx and Koinex to shift to crypto to crypto and peer to peer trade just to be in the market.
It had launched its Bitcoin exchange in 2015. This year, it launched Zebpay 2.0, allowing users to trade in multi coins. Three years old crypto exchange claimed to add 3-4 lakh users every month at its peak. It hit annual turnover of Rs 500 crore.
In 2016 the crypto exchange raised close to $1 million in Series A funding led by equity investor Arjun Handa, CMD and VP of Claris Life sciences, along with Amit Jindal, MD of Jindal worldwide, and other investors.
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