India To Rejoin Crypto World As Startup Plans To Rollout Crypto ATMs Across Major Cities
India's oldest crypto exchange, Unicoin, has announced the launch of Bitcoin and crypto ATM's across India's most popular cities to circumvent the ban on banking for cryptocurrency-related companies.
India’s oldest crypto exchange, Unicoin, has announced the launch of Bitcoin and crypto ATM’s across India’s most popular cities to circumvent the ban on banking for cryptocurrency-related companies.
The cryptocurrency landscape in India is in dire need of help following a nation-wide ban by the central bank. Recently, the largest Indian crypto exchange, Zebpay, closed their cryptocurrency exchange citing banking struggles.
At the moment, Unicoin plans to install several crypto automated teller machines that will make it easier for one to acquire digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).
Unicoin will also sync its ATM’s in real time to its exchange, allowing users to deposit and withdraw funds using Indian Rupees (INR) in real-time.
The first of 30 Bitcoin ATMs
According to Unocoin, the India-based company will roll out crypto ATMs in three major locations in the country.
Unocoin CEO Sathvik Vishwanath said that the startup would deploy the first 30 ATMs in three cities, with the first already operational in the 12-million people city of Bangalore.
The firm tweeted:
“Unocoin introduces its first ATM at Bangalore. These machines can be used by our KYC verified customers for deposit INR to, and withdraw INR from their Unocoin or Unodax account.”
Apart from Bangalore, the firm also has plans to launch additional crypto teller machines in New Delhi and Mumbai within the next few days.
Users at the ATMs can make deposits or withdrawals beginning with a minimum of 1,000 rupees or $13.5. These amounts will increase by 500 rupees or $6.75 at every account level.
The firm has made it clear that users will access all the digital assets and tokens available on the Unocoin platform as well as its subsidiary crypto-crypto Unodax exchange.
According to Vishwanath, their devices do not have any direct connection with local banks. The ATMs are “stand-alone” devices that have been designed to accept deposits and withdrawals.
“These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before due to RBI restriction on banks to not provide bank accounts.”
Crypto crackdown in India
Blockchain adoption in India is on the rise, with many companies and institutions looking to blockchain solutions in various sectors. It includes the RBI that earlier said it was open to a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC).
However, the same cannot be said of India’s stance on cryptocurrency, despite an increasing number of crypto users in the country. The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed financial restrictions aimed at crypto exchanges.
In April, the RBI asked all banks to cease from advancing any banking and financial services to the local cryptocurrency exchanges. A ban on the same came into effect in July, essentially cutting off any services banks would offer to crypto exchange platforms.
The move caused uproar within the crypto community, with prices across exchanges in the country experiencing flash crashes.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts petitioned the country’s Supreme Court, challenging the central bank’s blanket ban. But on the ground, there was damage to the exchanges as the prohibition meant platforms could not accept deposits or offer withdrawals in the local Rupee.
The ban also forced some cryptocurrency exchanges to simply shut down, while a few had to adopt new business models to skirt the ban, including operating as exchange-escrowed P2P platforms.
The Supreme Court could not determine the matter and pushed it to a later date, initially scheduled for September. Meanwhile, the RBI filed an affidavit declaring that Bitcoin and other digital assets do not qualify to be declared as money.
India’s crypto exchanges have thus been grappling with reduced volumes as a direct result of the RBI ban.
A good example is the country’s leading platform Zebpay, which has seen its volumes dwindle considerably since April to a complete shutdown.
According to data on XBT.net, Zebpay currently ranks 203 in the world and although active, has no volume reported in the last 24 hours.
The ban on financial institutions is still in force. However, the launch of the ATMs is a big boost to the crypto community in India. Enthusiasts can now make deposits or withdraw funds in Rupee.
As Unocoin’s CEO said, “…the gap is now completely filled by these ATMs.” The only inconvenience would be that users will have to access a crypto ATM to complete these transactions physically.