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Coinbase issues clarification after reports of it ceasing services in India

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Coinbase has issued a clarification after a circulating report suggested that it would soon halt all operations for its Indian customers.

According to Sept. 11 reports from TechCrunch and Economic Times, Coinbase India users were reportedly warned via email that all services would be discontinued by Sept. 25 and were urged to to remove any funds that remained on the exchange.

However, it is understood that the notice was not aimed at all Indian customers and was instead aimed at those breaching the exchange’s standards. 

“We are reaching out to inform you that we will be discontinuing all Coinbase Retail services linked to your above-mentioned account, as we will be disabling access for the retail accounts that no longer meet our updated standards for these services,” according to an email on Sept. 8 that was shared by a Coinbase spokesperson to Cointelegraph.

“Please note that this does not impact your access to/use of Coinbase Cloud services which will continue to be accessible to you through your account,” it added.

In a statement, the spokesperson reiterated that the email was only sent to account holders whom Coinbase deemed as breaching their “updated standards.”

“It is possible that during the course of a recent routine review of our systems, some accounts may have been identified that no longer meet our updated standards. We will therefore be disabling these accounts and allow customers to update their information at a later date,” the spokesperson added.

“Affected users’ funds remain safe with us, and they continue to be able to withdraw their balances and send to other crypto service providers until 25 September.”

The original report from TechCrunch has been widely shared on social media, being picked up by a number of prominent accounts on X (formerly known as Twitter) including Wu Blockchain. 

However, the reports also suggest Coinbase has put a stop to Indian users signing up to its exchange, instead prompting them to download its wallet application, Coinbase Wallet.

However, this has been in place since June and only impacts exchange accounts, according to a Coinbase spokesperson.

India-based users attempting to sign up are instead prompted to download Coinbase Wallet. Source: Coinbase sign-up page when accessed from India

“We stopped allowing new user sign ups on our exchange product in India back in June of this year. We maintain a robust tech hub in the country and offer live products, including our Coinbase Wallet. We are committed to India over the long term and continue to explore ways to strengthen our presence in this important market,” they added.

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Coinbase launched in India on April 7, 2022; however, just days later, on April 11, the exchange halted payment services through United Payments Interface (UPI) on its platform for Indian users due to pressure from local regulators.

Indian users who had purchased crypto prior to the UPI shutdown on the platform could trade existing crypto assets in their wallets with other users by way of peer-to-peer or P2P trading. However, as of the the time of publication, Indian users on Coinbase are only able to existing crypto assets from their accounts. 

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Update (Sept. 11, 6:15 am UTC): This article has been updated to include an additional comment from a Coinbase spokesperson about its commitment to the Indian market.