The recent Binance conundrum has spotlighted concerns about safety and credibility of global exchanges, where Indian crypto users are increasingly moving to. This, the industry experts voice will highlight the need for Indian government interventions to establish guardrails for global exchanges catering to Indian users, and reduce taxation rigor on trading in India.
Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange days ago entered a guilty plea and has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle criminal allegations brought by the US Department of Justice related to money laundering.
The exchange was charged for conducting an unlicensed money transmitter business, conspiracy and breaching sanctions regulations. Founder Changpeng Zhao(CZ) , the founder of the exchange, has also pleaded guilty and will be resigning from his role. In addition, he is also paying $50 million to the settlement.
In the recent past, the fall of global exchanges - FTX for example - has resulted in crypto traders losing considerable amounts of money. This becomes a growing concern as Indian crypto users are increasingly migrating to global exchanges(prominently Binance) after India has introduced taxation on crypto trades in India. To be sure, the Binance mishap has not resulted in major loss of funds yet.
Dilip Chenoy, Chairman, Bharat Web3 Association notes, “While Indian exchanges comply with all the government’s regulations, the same is not true for several foreign exchanges offering their services to Indian users, investors, consumers, which, unfortunately, are the preferred trading routes today for millions of Indians, resulting in significant exposure to any fraud committed outside of India.”
The current scenario puts the spotlight on the need for crypto investor/user protection. Kashif Raza, co-founder of crypto news analysis platform Crypto Kanoon said, “The Binance incident should trigger the need for the government to set a regulatory framework for global platforms that want to engage with Indian users, similar to the norms made for global banking and insurance companies entering the country.” There is also a need for the government to specify and give clarity on the guardrails for trading on foreign exchanges.
Further, Certain global exchanges have been lax in adhering to global regulations or even perform basic risk-checks. Such actors can cause harm to the ecosystem and dent the faith that crypto users have in Indian exchanges, too, notes Vikram Subburaj, CEO, of Indian crypto platform Giottus. “The onus is on every forward-looking government to ensure that global exchanges are held accountable for their actions. To ensure that global exchanges do not go scot-free in the event of any unlawful activity, the respective governments should be made signatories to any global agreement in future,” he added.
Amid the global scenario, there is also a case to be made for the government to look at reducing the rigor on trading in India. Sidharth Sogani, founder of crypto research firm CREBACO points, “Trading on Indian exchanges has to be promoted by reducing scrutiny. In addition, the capital outflow to global exchanges can be stopped rather by making trading here more favorable than imposing compliance on them.”