Binance and KuCoin Secure Registration With Indian FIU

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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, along with its rival KuCoin, has now secured registration with India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND). The milestone achievement of becoming the first offshore crypto-related entity so approved is coming barely 5 months after their ban.

The Path to Registration – Compliance

Binance, KuCoin, and several other entities suffered a ban when the authorities indicted them for “operating illegally” in the country at the end of last year. App stores including Apple India had to block Binance and others for non-compliance.

The FIU-IND, which operates under India’s Finance Ministry, confirmed the registration of the exchanges – Binance and KuCoin. However, according to the authorities, only KuCoin has paid the penalty instituted for earlier violations.

“Binance is registered but the compliance proceedings are not completed because the amount of penalty has to be decided by me and that hearing is still going on,” said Vivek Aggarwal, who heads FIU-IND.

KuCoin Pays Penalties, Binance Pending

KuCoin, having paid a penalty of $41,000, has resumed operations in India. This marks a notable turnaround from the earlier ban that impacted several offshore crypto exchanges. Binance, on the other hand, is yet to resume operations as confirmed by Aggarwal. Their resumption rests on the decision of the penalty amount which reports speculate might be up to $2 million.

Regardless, market watchers say the reentry of the exchanges is a positive shift in India for offshore crypto platforms in India. This will open the way for other entities to apply for approval.

Sanctioned Exchanges and Their Next Steps

The end-of-year ban in 2023 affected several other major crypto exchanges, including Kraken, Gemini, and Gate.io. All these entities have begun negotiations with the FIU-IND to address compliance issues. However, OKX and Bitstamp are taking a different path, opting to submit plans to exit the country altogether.

Meanwhile, all entities that have not secured registration with FIU-IND and were issued a show-cause notice in December remain blocked. The restriction from providing services in India remains until a resolution is reached with the FIU.

Overall, the registration of Binance and KuCoin signals a positive development for offshore crypto entities seeking to operate in India. The experiences of both exchanges will serve as a learning curve to navigate how to obtain regulatory approval.

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