The National Payments Corporation of India, the governing body that oversees UPI in the country, said in a statement on Thursday evening that it is not aware of any cryptocurrency exchange using UPI payments instrument, hours after the global giant Coinbase launched the service in the country with UPI support.
The voluntary statement from the payments body underscores why other crypto exchanges in India have grappled with supporting UPI on their platforms. Crypto is not illegal in the South Asian market, but India’s central bank continues to maintain that virtual digital assets need more scrutiny. India’s Supreme Court overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on crypto over two years ago, but banks continue to side with the central bank.
At its maiden India event in Bengaluru earlier on Thursday — which was attended by several top execs including Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong — the global giant announced that it is launching crypto trading service in the country. The company’s eponymous app, the executives said, will allow users to buy cryptocurrencies with UPI, the most popular way Indians transact online.
Coinbase did not disclose the name of its banking / fintech partner. The NPCI’s statement appears to suggest that UPI is still a no-go for crypto in India. Coinbase did not immediately have comment.
More to follow…