Binance and Kucoin Approved to Provide Virtual Asset Services in India by FIU

Binance and Kucoin Approved to Provide Virtual Asset Services in India by FIU

by May 13, 2024

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India has granted approval to the cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Kucoin to operate as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the country, according to the Economic Times.

Vivek Aggarwal

Vivek Aggarwal

Vivek Aggarwal, Director of FIU-IND, confirmed the approvals during a press interaction. Aggarwal highlighted that this registration would enhance transparency in the operations of these platforms, facilitating the commencement of the suspicious transaction report (STR) submission process soon.

Kucoin, which had previously faced a ban due to non-compliance issues, has settled its dues by paying a penalty of Rs 35.5 lakh. The sanctions against its operations have since been lifted.

On the other hand, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange which also faced a temporary prohibition in January, is in the process of resolving its liabilities, expected to be around US$2 million, although the exact figure is yet to be confirmed by FIU.

The FIU does not require offshore entities to establish a separate business entity in India. However, they must appoint a principal compliance officer in the country, who will act as the main point of contact with the FIU.

This development follows the earlier ban on nine offshore cryptocurrency platforms including Binance and Kucoin in January, due to their failure in adhering to FIU and anti-money laundering guidelines.

Of those, some like Bitstamp and OKX have ceased operations in India, while others like Gate.io and Kraken are still negotiating with the FIU.

Currently, the FIU oversees 47 registered entities involved in the trading or handling of crypto assets in India.

Aggarwal further stated that the legitimacy of crypto asset trading in India hinges on licensing, although FIU registration primarily focuses on safeguarding against financial crimes.

In collaboration with industry stakeholders, the FIU plans to establish a working group to develop self-regulatory guidelines to promote the growth of the Virtual Digital Asset (VDA) business in India, drawing on best practices from global regulators.