Google Removes Offshore Crypto Apps; Including Binance from Play Store

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In under a day after Indian users lost access to crypto wallet websites like Binance, their mobile apps were also removed from the Google Play Store.

While there’s no official word from the government, officials from the electronics and information technology ministry mentioned that the decision to have Google take down these apps came after the finance ministry expressed concerns about potential money laundering activities linked to these platforms.

Government Restrictions on Cryptocurrency Platforms in India

The Economic Times reported on Saturday that the Indian government has prohibited access for Indian users to the web platforms of foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and virtual digital asset service providers, including Binance, Kucoin, and OKX. The electronics and IT ministry subsequently issued orders to remove the Android apps of these platforms.

Earlier last week, the ministry had already directed the removal of iOS store apps for these platforms. These actions against digital asset service providers were initiated in the past fortnight based on information from the finance ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), indicating potential involvement in money laundering activities.

FIU Issues Notices to Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Unauthorized Operations

On December 28, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) sent notices to Binance and eight other cryptocurrency exchanges, asking them to explain their activities in India. The notices highlighted concerns that these platforms were operating without proper permissions and not following the necessary anti-money laundering laws.

The FIU not only sought explanations but also suggested to the IT ministry to block the website addresses (URLs) of these platforms. The notices reached Binance’s offices in Seychelles, Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Singapore. The other eight exchanges that received notices were Kucoin, Huobi, OKX,, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex.

These platforms had a two-week deadline to respond, which ended on Friday. The FIU’s actions aimed to address worries about potential rule violations and non-compliance with Indian laws related to preventing money laundering.

Important: Please note that this article is only meant to provide information and should not be taken as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other type of advice.


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