New Delhi: On Saturday, Google took action by removing several cryptocurrency applications, including those of Binance and Kraken, from its Play store in India. This move follows a recent identification of these global cryptocurrency apps as operating ‘illegally’ in the South Asian market. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), a government agency responsible for scrutinizing financial transactions, issued show cause notices to nine crypto firms last month, alleging non-compliance with India’s anti-money laundering rules.
Earlier in the week, Apple had also removed these apps, and subsequently, various telecom networks and internet service providers started blocking the URLs of the crypto exchange websites on Thursday evening. In response to FIU’s actions, the IT Ministry was requested to block the websites of all nine services operating in India. Besides Binance and Kraken, other affected exchanges include Huobi, Gate.io, Bittrex, and Bitfinex.
Binance, anticipating the IP block, acknowledged the issue on Saturday, stating, “We are aware of an IP block affecting a number of crypto firms, including Binance. This only impacts users attempting to access the Indian iOS app store or the Binance website from India. Existing users who already have the Binance app are not affected.” The statement emphasized Binance’s commitment to complying with local regulations and laws, emphasizing ongoing communication with regulators to ensure user protection and foster the development of a healthy Web3 industry.