Binance set to re-enter India with $2 million fine settlement

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is preparing to re-enter the Indian market after agreeing to pay a $2 million fine, according to a report by the Economic Times.

The fine comes as a resolution to compliance issues that led to Binance’s removal from the Apple Store in India earlier this year following show cause notices from India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The notices, which were also sent to other major exchanges such as OKX, KuCoin, and Huobi, were part of a broader crackdown on crypto exchanges operating without full compliance with local regulations.

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.

The Economic Times report also highlighted that 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.

In January, the Indian government blocked nine crypto websites, including major players like Binance and KuCoin, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for operating without compliance. Following the government’s clampdown, both Apple and Google removed several crypto exchange apps from their Indian stores.

The catalyst for this ban was a notice issued by the Indian Ministry of Finance’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) back in December. The FIU’s notice targeted a range of prominent crypto exchanges such as Binance, Kraken, Kucoin, Bittrex, Gate.io, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and MEXC Global, alleging that they are operating illegally in India and failing to comply with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The FIU had also recommended that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology block the websites of these exchanges due to their noncompliance.

Despite Apple’s App Store’s ban, these crypto exchange apps remain accessible to users in India through Google’s Play Store and their respective web versions.

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