A coin representing Bitcoin cryptocurrency sits reflected on a polished surface.(Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Zebpay Shuts Down Bitcoin Exchange As RBI’s Ban Cripples Its Business

Zebpay is shutting down as the Reserve Bank of India’s virtual ban on digital currencies has crippled business for one of India’s largest crypto exchanges.

“Starting Friday 4 p.m., we are cancelling all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and will be crediting the coins or tokens back to the users’ wallets,” Zebpay said in a blogpost. No new orders will be accepted until further notice, it said.

It’s the first major cryto exchange to shut down five months after the RBI barred banks, non-bank lenders and mobile wallets from allowing payments for virtual currency. While the exchanges challenged the move, the Supreme Court is yet to rule on the matter.

“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully,” Zebpay wrote. “At this point, we’re unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business.”

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The company said it will continue to run its wallet service. Launched in 2015, Zebpay was one of the early movers in the Indian cryptocurrency market and among the few to generate investor interest. The company has about 15 lakh users as of April 2018.

Meanwhile, other domestic exchanges like Koinex and WazirX are avoiding banking channels and using the peer-to-peer trade to sustain their business.