Binance and KuCoin get regulatory approval in India

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance and KuCoin have become the first offshore crypto exchanges to receive approval from India’s anti-money laundering unit, months after being banned for “operating illegally” in the country.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND), which operates under India’s Finance Ministry, confirmed the registration of both Binance and KuCoin. This follows a ban on more than 9 offshore entities last year, including Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex.

FIU-IND president Vivek Aggarwal said this approval represents a shift in credibility for the crypto industry in India. He announced plans to form a working group with the industry to review compliance guidelines on money laundering laws for virtual digital asset service providers.

While KuCoin has resumed operations after paying a $41,000 penalty, Binance is yet to do so. It is expected that Binance will settle with a $2 million fine after a hearing with the FIU.

Aggarwal clarified that although Binance is registered, compliance proceedings are ongoing. He mentioned that the amount of penalty is still under consideration.

Among other sanctioned platforms, Kraken, Gemini, and Gate.io have started negotiations with the regulator, while OKX and Bitstamp have submitted plans to exit the country.

India currently has 48 crypto entities registered as reporting entities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Aggarwal disclosed. This marks the first time the FIU has officially addressed the press about crypto, following meetings with representatives of all 48 entities.

Following the fine, Binance plans to re-establish itself as an FIU-registered entity, fully compliant with Indian regulations, including anti-money laundering and taxation laws. The re-entry into India marks a major shift for Binance, which previously commanded about 90% of Indian crypto market share, holding an estimated $4 billion in crypto assets from Indian investors.

Binance’s prior market dominance might have been helped by non-compliance with local tax laws that otherwise would require users to pay a 1% tax deducted at source on transactions. This re-entry follows a broader global pattern where Binance has been working to improve its regulatory compliance in response to increasing scrutiny by financial authorities worldwide.

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