Post Debut, Coinbase’s UPI Launch Hits Snag With NPCI

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Following its debut in India on Wednesday, US-based cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase, said it would add UPI support to transact on the platform. Speaking at a conference last week, Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong revealed that customers could also use the Unified Payments System (UPI), the nationwide quick payments method to make crypto exchanges on its platform. 

However, this launch did not receive a warm welcome from the governing body that oversees UPI in the country. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the organization that oversees retail payments and settlement systems in India, said on Thursday that it is “not aware of any crypto exchange” using UPI.

Crypto still under RBI lens

The stumble comes two years after India’s Supreme Court overturned the RBI’s ban on crypto. With the Government holding the reigns tight and the draconian crypto tax regime implemented on April 1, NPCI’s statement appears to suggest that UPI is still a no-go for crypto in India. 

Job Alert!

Coinbase said it’s making a “long-term” bet on India and is planning to more than triple its employee headcount in the country to 1,000 this year. The tech giant is already an investor in two of the largest local crypto exchanges in the country (CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX).

Eyes on the Rival

FTX, a much younger crypto exchange and a major rival of Coinbase, has also started to expand its presence in India. It is also in talks to back the Indian fantasy sports startup MPL. 

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: Coinbase and NPCI are not on the same page at all, and it doesn’t look like Crypto and UPI are getting their happily ever after just yet, much to the dismay of investors.

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