Zebpay is returning to India more than a year after closing down local crypto exchange operations due to the banking ban imposed by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Under a new leadership team, the exchange has also revealed a number of upcoming new services, including a crypto-to-crypto exchange and a way for users to earn passive income.
Zebpay, formerly one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, announced on Wednesday that it will be relaunching in its home country.
“Zebpay is back”, the company wrote, adding:
A new leadership team, crypto-crypto trading, no-fee trading on select pairs, an upgraded focus on security and innovation, and a passive income and borrowing program on the horizon.
The exchange’s CEO is Rahul Pagidipati, the announcement continues. “With a new CFO, CMO, and Chief Strategy Officer, we’ve got a new vision to become one of the most trusted, innovative blockchain service companies in the world.”
The company closed down its Indian exchange operation back in September 2018, a few months after the RBI’s banking ban went into effect. “The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities”, Zebpay said at the time. Since leaving India, the company has set up operations overseas, such as in European countries and Australia.
New Services Announced
Noting that it has been working on a number of new services to launch in India, Zebpay detailed:
In the coming months, we will launch crypto-crypto trading, to allow you to trade pairs like ETH-BTC and stablecoins with instant buy/sell.
In addition, for a limited time, the platform will waive trading fees for one selected pair each month, for the entire month, starting with BTC-ETH.
Zebpay further revealed that it has created a new company in its group called Genie Technologies Pte. Ltd. to focus on security research. “We’ve created one of the world’s most advanced, secure wallet systems to protect your crypto assets”, the company claims. While trading fees used to cover the costs of maintaining its wallet security, the company has been paying these costs themselves since 2018. It has therefore decided that from March 1, each member will be charged a flat monthly fee of 0.0001 BTC. “If the price of bitcoin goes up significantly, we’ll adjust the fee downwards”, Zebpay promises. “This will allow us to cover the cost of wallet security until we launch crypto-crypto trading later this year … Once we resume crypto-crypto trading, you won’t be charged a wallet fee as long as you place even one trade per month.”
Supreme Court to Decide on RBI Ban
The central bank issued a circular in April 2018 banning regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. Banks subsequently closed the accounts of crypto exchanges, causing extensive damage to the crypto industry. Besides Zebpay, a few other exchanges have also closed down due to the banking restriction, such as Koinex and Coindelta. The remaining crypto exchanges cope with the ban by launching peer-to-peer trading platforms.
The Indian supreme court has been hearing the arguments against the ban for the past two weeks from Ahsim Sood, the counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), and Nakul Dewan, the counsel representing a number of crypto exchanges. The hearing wrapped up on Tuesday. On the same day, the court issued an order stating that the judgment has been reserved and the counsels may file written submissions by Friday.
While the central bank has insisted on placing a banking restriction on the crypto industry, it has clarified that cryptocurrency is not banned in India. Furthermore, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week presented a prestigious award to a young entrepreneur who created a cryptocurrency app.