Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Zebpay Shuts Down Due to Banking Freeze

Zebpay, the largest crypto exchange in India in terms of volume, has announced it will be closing its exchange services later today (September 28th). The announcement was made on twitter a few hours ago:

Zebpay was responsible for playing a pioneering role as the major cryptocurrency exchange in India, as many Indians took their first steps in the cryptoworld using the platform. In a blog post, Zebpay team explained the reason behind the halting of exchange services:

The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business.

It seems that national policies were the central cause behind the closure of the Zebpay exchange.

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had issued a ban on cryptocurrencies in April, prohibiting any regulated financial institution or bank to offer services related to the cryptocurrency industry. Although cryptocurrencies exchanges tried to reverse the situation by filling a petition, India’s supreme court reported in July that the ban would remain active until a final hearing that has yet to happen.

Since the ban, trading volume on Zebpay had been steadily falling. In July, the company announced it would pause Indian rupee deposits and withdrawals, making the 24-hour trading volume to plummet from $5 million to just over $200,000. Although the company will close down its exchange, all tokens will be credited to users’ wallets and the wallet service will remain active, with the exclusion of the trading features.

Zebpay and Crypto in India

Founded in late 2012, Zebpay started trading using its wallet app, and quickly became one of the most-downloaded apps in India, boasting 3 million users and supporting 20 cryptocurrencies and 22 trading pairs at the time of this writing.