Indian Crypto Exchange Coindelta Shutters Services, Citing Adverse Regulatory Conditions

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Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coindelta is terminating its services in light of the adverse operating climate for crypto businesses in the country. The development was announced in an official blog post on March 30.

Eighteen months after its first launch, Coindelta has told users that severe restrictions on banking services for crypto-related firms in India has caused its operating costs to escalate, and that therefore it is not economically viable to continue operations. The post notes:

“It has been really difficult for us to operate Coindelta exchange for the last 6 months. The curb on the bank accounts by RBI has made us handicapped in order to provide seamless deposit and withdrawal services. There has not been any significant progress in the Supreme Court case which makes it difficult to predict when we will see the regulation.”

In April 2018, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had prohibited all domestic banks from providing services to crypto-related businesses. Protracted regulatory uncertainty has meant that even individuals have reportedly faced bank account closures, as some institutions have apparently widely extrapolated the crypto banking ban to single traders.

In its announcement, Coindelta stated that all crypto trading markets on its platforms were suspended at 2:00 pm (time zone unknown) on March 30.

Any outstanding orders at that time were reportedly cancelled, with user funds returned to their wallets. The exchange has said it will continue to provide wallet services until April 29, 2019, after which it asks users to request withdrawals via its support page or email.

Coindelta is notably charging a fixed fee for all withdrawals, as outlined in the statement. Multiple users have responded to Coindelta on Twitter, arguing that the fee is excessively high and makes the withdrawal of small amounts of crypto deposits untenable.

In a bid to quell community anger and draw business from former clients of its now-shuttered counterpart, rival Indian crypto exchange WazirX notified users on March 30 that it will refund their Coindelta withdrawal fees if they choose to transfer their deposits to its platform.

As previously reported, the status and future of cryptocurrencies in India remains highly contentious. After the RBI’s controversial prohibition came into effect last July, both public and industry-led petitions have appealed to the courts on the grounds that the decision is unconstitutional.

On March 30, the fourth of a series of blockchain supporter rallies was organized in the city of Bangalore in protest at the ongoing uncertainty as the Supreme Court mulls an expected final decision on the RBI ban.