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Zebpay crypto exchange reopens in India ahead of Supreme Court verdict

Posted: 3 February 2020 12:37 pm
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Expectations are leaning heavily towards a pro-crypto verdict from India's supreme court.

The future of cryptocurrency in India has gone up for debate, in an argument between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which includes crypto companies like UnoCoin alongside Google India, Amazon, Western Union and so on.

The verdict is due any day now, and this page will be updated when it comes.

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It's not clear which way the decision will go though.

Observers have said that the IAMAI put in an excellent effort, and for what it's worth, the general sentiment among a bunch of crypto enthusiasts on Twitter is that the judgment will land in favour of crypto.

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Some exchanges also appear to be expecting a happy ending.

Zebpay, a mobile-centric crypto exchange, is planning to re-enter the Indian market. It left the country for warmer regulatory climes after India's "crypto ban" went into action, but has announced a new suite of products for Indian users.

"Here at Zebpay we’ve continued to innovate and prepare for the day when we can resume full operations. We're confident it will come soon. And we'll be ready," Zebpay said.

Although it's now based in Singapore, with an enclave in Australia, Zebpay was among the first crypto exchanges in India, and it would go on to become one of the largest.

India's "crypto ban" wasn't a ban per se, but rather a "bank ban", which prevented crypto companies from accessing banking services. Similar scuffles have emerged elsewhere.

The most ironic example of the same may be in Ireland. There, the Bitcove cryptocurrency exchange participated in a startup program backed by the Bank of Ireland, where it was subject to monthly reviews by a panel including bank representatives. At the end, Bitcove walked away with the "best business startup" award.

And then, just a few months after handing it support and awards, the Bank of Ireland turned around and shut down Bitcove's bank accounts. It survived by finding new banking partners on mainland Europe, but other Irish exchanges weren't so fortunate or agile.

The most egregious example, though, can probably be found in Chile, where all the major banks simultaneously closed crypto exchange accounts without explanation, in a move that's difficult to interpret as anything other than a concerted attempt by a monopoly to quash an upstart industry. As in India, an association of Chilean crypto exchanges fought back with a lawsuit. They had their accounts back open in under a month after Chile's anti-monopoly courts found in the favour of crypto exchanges.

Sentiment on the streets is that the Supreme Court will decide in favour of crypto. And while every situation is different, precedent from around the world mostly says the same.

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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