Coinbase: What this latest update means for users in India

  • Coinbase’s experience in India has been marked by a series of challenges.
  • The exchange’s primary focus in India now revolves around its Wallet services and technology hub.

Coinbase has clarified that while its exchange services have been inactive for several months, its wallet services and technology hub remain active for Indian customers.

Confusion arose regarding Coinbase’s operations in India after the exchange sent emails to certain customers, urging them to withdraw their funds by 25 September 2023. The emails served as a “friendly reminder” of a previous communication sent on 26 June.

Coinbase previously suspended its exchange operations, as reported earlier. However, it emphasized that its other products, such as the Coinbase Wallet, continue to be available for Indian customers. Its technology hub remains operational.

The recent emails that were sent seemed to be directed at some Indian users who had utilized Coinbase’s exchange product in non-Indian jurisdictions. These emails also reached some non-Indian users. The messages requested customers to withdraw their funds by 25 September 2023.

It stated that the accounts “no longer meet our updated standards for these services.” Coinbase assured customers that their funds remained secure and that they could transfer funds to other crypto wallets or services, including Coinbase Wallet, were subject to standard network and transaction fees.

Clearing the confusion: Coinbase’s status in India explained

A Coinbase spokesperson clarified that these emails were a result of a routine system review, during which they identified some accounts that did not meet the updated standards. However, customers would have the opportunity to update their information at a later date.

Coinbase’s experience in India has been marked by challenges. After its launch in April 2022, the exchange suspended trading operations within three days. It had initially touted India’s local digital payment service, Unified Payments Services (UPI), as a key component of its operations.

However, the authority overseeing UPI claimed to be unaware of any crypto exchange using the service. Coinbase’s app soon indicated that UPI services were temporarily unavailable. Additionally, some payment processors cut off local crypto exchanges. Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, later acknowledged “informal pressure” from India’s central bank as a contributing factor.

Despite these setbacks, Coinbase expressed its long-term commitment to India. The company maintains a substantial technology hub in the country, with plans to strengthen its presence in the Indian market. Previously, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced intentions to expand the Indian tech hub by adding 1,000 employees.

However, after facing challenges in the Indian market and a subsequent cryptocurrency price crash, the exchange reduced its Indian workforce by 8%, laying off 32 of its 400 employees in India in June.

Coinbase’s primary focus in India now revolves around its Wallet services and technology hub, which serves the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and the global market. While its exchange services remain inactive, the company maintains a strong commitment to its presence in India and continues to explore opportunities for growth in this important market.


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