In a significant development, Apple has taken a decisive step by removing the mobile applications of several global cryptocurrency exchanges, including major players like Binance, Kraken, Mexc, and Kucoin, from its App Store in India.
This decision follows recent regulatory actions by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an Indian government agency, which issued “show cause notices” to nine crypto firms for alleged non-compliance with the country’s anti-money laundering rules.
Apple App Store delists top crypto exchanges in India: Binance, Kraken, Mexc and more
Apple’s App Store swiftly responded to the regulatory scrutiny by pulling apps from at least nine cryptocurrency exchanges, notably Binance and Kraken, within two weeks of the FIU issuing show cause notices. The affected apps, including those of Huobi, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex, are no longer available for download on Apple’s platform in India. Notably, OKX, though not served with a show cause notice, also saw its app removed.
The FIU’s compliance show cause notices, issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), were sent to the nine cryptocurrency exchanges on December 28. While the government has taken initial steps to block the URLs of the non-compliant entities, extensive paperwork and ongoing processes have allowed these URLs to remain accessible in India, pending further regulatory action.
Users who had already installed these cryptocurrency exchange apps on their devices before their removal can still access them. In response to the removal, Binance assured its existing customers in India that their funds were safe and emphasized its commitment to constructive policy-making for sustainable business operations in the country. The exchange remains engaged in discussions with regulators to find resolutions.
The removal of these cryptocurrency exchange apps from Apple’s App Store comes at a time when India is witnessing a shift in the trading landscape. Last year, the government’s imposition of taxes on virtual currencies, with a 30% tax on gains and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction, has led many Indian traders to migrate to global cryptocurrency platforms to potentially evade taxes. This migration has resulted in a significant decline in trading volume for India-based exchanges, such as WazirX.