Apple India Removed Bybit From its App Store

Apple india has reportedly removed the Bybit app from its App Store on March 22. This development has left many Indian iPhone and MacBook users unable to access or download the app through the platform.

Just In : Due to regulatory uncertainty, Today #Bybit crypto exchange app has been removed from the Apple App Store in India 🇮🇳.

— Pushpendra Singh (@pushpendrakum) March 22, 2024

The decision follows a trend that began about two months ago when Apple began removing several cryptocurrency apps from its Indian App Store, coinciding with regulatory actions against these platforms.

Regulatory Scrutiny

On December 28, the FIU identified nine cryptocurrency exchanges for non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws, prompting a request to the IT Ministry to block their websites within the country. Apple responded, withdrawing apps associated with the flagged exchanges from its App Store in India.

The affected exchanges include prominent names like Binance, Kraken, Huobi, Gate.io, Bittrex, and Bitfinex, alongside OKX.

In parallel with Apple’s move, cryptocurrency exchange OKX recently announced the discontinuation of its services in India due to regulatory pressures. Notifying users via email on March 21st, the platform urged Indian customers to close their positions by the end of April.

Challenges for Crypto Exchanges in India

India’s cryptocurrency ecosystem has witnessed exponential growth over the past decade, with numerous exchanges competing for market share. However, regulatory hurdles, particularly stringent taxation measures introduced in 2022, have complicated the operating environment.

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The imposition of a 30% tax on profits and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction has discouraged some exchanges, while others have opted to comply with the FIU’s registration requirements.

Domestic players like CoinSwitch and CoinDCX have aligned with regulatory mandates, but international exchanges operating outside the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) framework have continued to attract a sizable user base.

Government’s Cautious Stance

Despite ongoing efforts to engage with global counterparts on crypto regulation, India’s government remains cautious in its approach.

At the India Today Conclave, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman raised concerns about illicit activities facilitated by cryptocurrencies, citing terror funding and drug financing as key areas of concern.

The absence of updates on regulatory measures during the interim budget address in February has further created uncertainty among market participants, who had hoped for clarity on taxation and compliance frameworks.

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