Monday, April 22, 2019

From India to Malta: Zebpay Moves Due to Strict Regulation

Zebpay, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is moving its operations to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta.

This is an effort to keep its operations up and running after shutting down just last month. The move is due to the unexpected ban on cryptocurrency that had been implemented by the Indian government.

Still to be called Zebpay, the now Malta-based exchange, will be offering cryptocurrency trading services to customers in 20 countries (all are located in Europe), but will not offer trading to Indian citizens.

Zebpay held a significant amount of the Indian cryptocurrency market, once having roughly 5-6 million investors on the platform. Their business began to weaken right after the Indian government had put in place the shocking ban on cryptocurrency trading. This isolated exchanges by not allowing them from engaging in banking relationships.

Since then, there has been a fair amount of confusion in the crypto industry as to whether or not the country intends on lifting the ban. Multiple sources have been giving conflicting statements on the situation. However, since it’s declaration, there has yet to be any major policy or leadership changes that could guarantee a lift of the ban.

This restriction has been the reason why the expected growth of the Indian cryptocurrency market never came to fruition. At its peak, exchanges were registering as much as 300,000 new customers per month. Since the ban, estimates claim that the biggest Indian exchanges are now registering less than 25,000 customers per month.

Due to the faltering trading activity and low account registration numbers, Zebpay announced on September 28th that they were putting an end to all exchange activities.

“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customers’ ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities.”

Like Zebpay, other major cryptocurrency exchanges have also joined the move to foreign soil that are deemed more crypto-friendly countries like Switzerland, Singapore, Dubai, and the Cayman Islands.

Zebpay’s move to Malta solidifies the tiny nation’s position as a leading cryptocurrency hub. Malta now houses the headquarters of some of the world’s largest exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, Bitbay and more. The trend is being powered by the Maltese government’s friendly attitude towards cryptocurrency. The government reportedly only requires exchanges to adhere to a light regulatory framework that ensure the exchanges are operating in a legal and trustworthy way.

In addition to this, the nation’s solidified position in the European Union also makes it popular for cryptocurrency companies. This means that Malta-based companies will have no barriers in offering their services to citizens residing in any EU nation.

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