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The Rise and Fall of UPI on Coinbase

Coinbase wanted to woo Indian customers with UPI. However, it could not last long.

Crypto exchange Coinbase is bullish on the Indian market.

The exchange has been engaging both the developer and investment communities.

A few days ago, it was reported that Coinbase has begun supporting UPI transactions. UPI has been a contentious issue among regulators for crypto investments.

Recently it hosted a mega event to announce its formal debut in India.

First News of UPI on Coinbase

On March 24, many users in India reported that Coinbase has begun supporting UPI transactions. Many users also observed that they could not see the option in their accounts.

Official Launch

On April 7, it hosted the event where Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee, delivered keynotes. The event featured the official launch of operations of the exchange in India.

It also launched UPI on the exchange. UPI, a payments infrastructure developed by a coalition of retail banks, has become the most popular way Indians transact online.

UPI has been a contentious issue among regulators in India. The Government is against crypto, as shown by the stringent tax regime to curtail the proliferation of the asset class in the country. Last year banks were resorting to closing the accounts of crypto investors. Now taxation has provided crypto with some sort of legitimacy. Still, banks and regulators are wary of it.

That’s why exchanges were turning to payment processors such as MobiKwik. Now MobiKwik wallet which was used by many crypto exchanges as a UPI aggregator has also stopped supporting the exchanges.

But Coinbase had an advantage. It has already invested in a fintech startup called IppoPay. It is a payment aggregator. Inc42 reported that when a UPI payment request was raised, it was processed under the company name IppoPay Technologies.

Regulators Were Irked

When it received a rousing reception from the crypto community, maybe the regulators took note of that. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the organization which oversees UPI and IMPS and other financial offerings, released a statement that they are not aware of any crypto exchange using UPI. Regulators were probably irked by this news.

Consequently, Coinbase removed the UPI option. Currently, only the IMPS option is available on Coinbase.

Coinbase Is Working in Other Segments Too

Coinbase has also partnered with India based Web3 incubator Buidlers Tribe to invest and support Web3 startups.

On April 8 they offered over $1 million along with $25000 bonus grants provided by Belief DAO and also mentorship by industry stalwarts to startups. These startups were selected through a pitching competition.

Further, it plans to increase its workforce in India.

When a player like Coinbase wants to enter India, it shows how much the international community trusts India’s IT talent. However, the Government has taken a very cautious stance. It is not opening the Indian economy easily to the crypto industry.

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Cover Photo Source: Coinbase

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