India To Block Binance and 8 Exchange Websites; Intensifies Crypto Crackdown

Published: Dec 28, 2023
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India has cracked down on major global crypto exchanges operating in the country under its anti-money laundering laws.

On Thursday, the agency under the Ministry of Finance announced it had issued compliance show cause notices to nine offshore crypto trading platforms.

Key Takeaways

  • Notices were sent to Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, Kraken, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex.
  • The exchanges have been reportedly operating in India without registering under the nation’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • Failure to comply could result in URLs being blocked for access within India, the government warned.

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India threatens to block access to crypto exchange website

In its notice, the FIU did not lay out a timeline for the exchanges to begin complying with Indian anti-money laundering rules. However, the agency said it has already initiated action to block access to the web domains of “entities operating illegally without complying with the PMLA.”

The nine exchanges counted among the largest globally have significant exposure to the fast-growing Indian crypto market. Hence, blocking access would deal a severe blow to their operations.

Earlier in March, India mandated that all domestic and foreign crypto businesses must register with the FIU and adhere to Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering statutes under the PMLA.

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Several smaller Indian exchanges have already registered. However, the FIU called out larger offshore platforms with significant Indian customer bases that continue operating while flouting the rules.

The enforcement action underscores an intensifying crackdown on crypto non-compliance under the new regulations from earlier this year. Further non-adherence risks loss of access to the lucrative Indian market. As crypto adoption accelerates across India’s tech-savvy population, exchanges face growing pressure to comply with national rules. 

Vignesh Karunanidhi

Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 6 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 6 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.