The inaction of India’s supreme court to end the prolonged banking restriction has forced another cryptocurrency exchange to shut down. The exchange has given its users 30 days to withdraw funds at increased fees, prompting several other exchanges to offer to refund these fees for customers switching to them.
Coindelta Shuts Down
Indian crypto exchange Coindelta announced its service termination on Saturday. The exchange wrote, “we will no longer be able to provide exchange services for cryptocurrencies,” elaborating:
The curb on the bank accounts by RBI has made us handicapped in order to provide seamless deposit and withdrawal services. There has not been any significant progress in the supreme court case which makes it difficult to predict when we will see the regulation.
The central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April last year banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses including exchanges. The ban went into effect in July and banks closed the accounts of crypto exchanges at that time.
The banking restriction has put many crypto businesses in limbo. Zebpay, formerly one of the largest crypto exchanges in India, was forced to close down its exchange operations in the country in September last year.
A number of industry participants have filed writ petitions against the ban which the supreme court originally scheduled to hear in September last year. However, the case has repeatedly been postponed. During the most recent hearing which took place on Friday, the court adjourned without addressing the ban until at least July.
Expensive to Run an Exchange
The team at Coindelta, an 18-month-old exchange, explained that “Running the exchange is very expensive in such [an] unfavourable environment.” Noting that “We have been operating at a minimal trade fee, bearing all the costs ourselves ensuring that your trading experience remains unaffected in the current unregulated environment,” the team admitted:
It has been really difficult for us to operate Coindelta exchange for the last 6 months … Economically, it’s no longer viable to continue with the exchange.
According to Saturday’s announcement, Coindelta’s exchange services were suspended and all open orders canceled in all markets at 2:00 p.m. (Indian time) on March 30. However, the wallet services will continue until April 29.
Customers Forced to Withdraw Funds at High Fees
Coindelta has requested that its customers withdraw all their funds within 30 days of the suspension, after which all requests must be submitted to support. “There will be a fixed fee applicable on all the withdrawals,” the exchange warned.
According to the Indian crypto community, these fees are high compared to what other exchanges are charging. For example, “they increased the XRP withdrawal fees to 10 XRP,” Coindcx CEO Sumit Gupta told news.Bitcoin.com, emphasizing that this fee is “a lot” since his exchange charges 0.01 XRP for withdrawals. Coindelta’s BTC withdrawal fee is 0.002 BTC, worth about $8.19 at the time of writing.
Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, tweeted that he “Got many messages that withdrawal fees from Coindelta have been increased,” adding that his exchange is offering Coindelta’s users 100 percent refund of withdrawal fees if they switch to Wazirx.
Another Indian exchange, Bitbns, has made a similar offer. “We are waiving off/refunding any fee incurred while depositing funds to Bitbns from any other cryptocurrency exchange across the world. This means you can now transfer your funds from any crypto exchange to Bitbns without bearing any transfer charges,” the exchange announced on Sunday.
What do you think of the Indian supreme court taking so long to end the RBI ban that Coindelta has to shut down? Let us know in the comments section below.
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