Crypto Exchange Zebpay Reopens in India Despite Banking Ban

Singapore-based crypto exchange Zebpay reportedly returns to the Indian market more than a year after an Indian Reserve Bank crackdown led to the exchange’s closure in the country. 

“We're committed to working with the Government of India and regulators to operate within the law and also improve the laws regarding crypto,” Zebpay CEO Rahul Pagidipati said in an email to Cointelegraph, adding:

“ZebPay was the pioneer in anti-money laundering and security so we have a lot of data and experience to share. I'm a lawyer, licensed in the Florida (USA) bar, so obviously I'm committed to helping create long-term policy that will help India get the full benefits of blockchain.”

After discontinuing Indian services in late 2018, Zebpay will open its exchange for the country once again, although the central bank ruling that caused its demise has not changed, IBS intelligence wrote on Jan. 29, Citing “reports.” 

Shutdown in the face of regulation

In September 2018, Zebpay halted exchange availability in India after the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, forbade banks from serving crypto companies. 

Although it closed operations in India, Zebpay announced expansion to Australia in May 2019, showing the outfit was still alive and growing. 

Comeback in spite of limitation

The RBI ban has not changed, but Zebpay has decided to open its doors to Indian customers once again anyway, according to IBS intelligence. 

Surrounding the rebound, Zebpay has updated its company brass, including a new CFO and CMO. The outfit also touts added features and crypto-based trading pairs. Additionally, the exchange expects to open an avenue for involvement in mutual funds, IBS wrote. 

As Zebpay’s new CEO, Pagidipati appears ready to hit the ground running. “I'm going to do whatever it takes to earn back the trust of all those loyal ZebPay members,” he said via email. “We're 1000% committed for the long-term to bringing the full benefits of blockchain and crypto to India,” he added. “I'm 42 now and ZebPay will be my life's work from now on.” 

The past several months have yielded numerous sessions in front of India’s Supreme Court on the RBI ban in an attempt to gain clarity on the situation. 

UPDATE Feb. 4, 21:48 UTC: This article has been updated with comments Cointelegraph received from Zebpay after initial publication.