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Fact Check: Is SBI blocking UPI Crypto Deposit?

According to a report from the Economic Times (ET), India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has ‘blocked the receipt of funds by crypto bourses on its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.’ Is it completely true?

The Fund Transfer Block by SBI UPI

The article says that the bank has directed payment processors to disable SBI UPI for crypto vendors and investors. It means anyone trying to invest in crypto by transferring funds via SBI UPI will not be able to do so.

In the past several months, banks have been blocking INR deposits in a crackdown against crypto assets investment. So, such news is not a new phenomenon.

However, SBI has not released any official notification pertinent to the matter.

“It is the policy of the bank not to comment upon matters relating to the subject matter,” ET reported an unnamed SBI spokesperson.

The article has particularly mentioned crypto exchange WazirX getting affected “by the decision” of SBI. 

However, WazirX does not accept any bank’s UPI.

Our team verified the same and found that WazirX does not accept any bank’s UPI. They only take deposits from the MobiKwik UPI as seen in the images below.

Options to deposit INR

Instructions for deposit through MobiKwik

ET also quoted the comments of the CEO and founder of WazirX, Nischal Shetty, on this development. He said, “We’re trying to discuss and put forward our points to SBI. WazirX follows KYC (Know Your Customer) norms and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) policies. Being the largest crypto exchange in India, millions of Indians are currently affected due to this move by SBI. We look forward to a positive resolution soon.”

Plight of Other Exchanges

We at Coin Crunch India reached out to the crypto community of India on Twitter and asked if it is true that other exchanges too are facing the issue.

One crypto user shared a screenshot of a successful deposit from an SBI bank account via its UPI to the crypto exchange Bitbns. The deposit was made the same day this article was written.

Peculiarities of the News

It is important to note that neither SBI nor WazirX has released any official statement(s) regarding the matter. These are just comments from the representatives but no official statement(s) has been released.

Also, no other exchange has been mentioned in the report. As we checked, WazirX does not take UPI deposits from any bank, and SBI UPI deposits to Bitbns are working seamlessly.

Therefore, the news has to be verified with all exchanges.

Furthermore, it was mentioned in the report that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which developed UPI, has refused to block fund movements for cryptocurrency trades.

It would be interesting to see how things unfold in the near future. 

Such news can create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in the minds of investors and upcoming entrepreneurs. So, news should always be verified, and the different nuances to it should also be considered before taking any decision.

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