Google followed Apple’s lead in removing several major crypto exchange apps from the Google Play Store in India. This decision came after regulators deemed the apps to be operating illegally in the country.
India’s Financial Intelligence Unit found that nine crypto exchanges had failed to comply with anti-laundering laws and requested to block access to their websites. In response, Apple removed nine cryptocurrency apps from the App Store on January 10. Shortly after, Google also took similar action.
Reports from TechCrunch indicate that multiple exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, Huobi, Gate.io, Bittrex, and Bitfinex, were removed from the Google Play Store in India.
It is unclear whether the request to block the websites of nine services also involved the removal of access to their associated apps. Neither Google nor Apple have confirmed if a request was made for the app takedowns.
The takedowns were largely due to India’s implementation of a 30% capital gains tax and a 1% transaction levy on cryptocurrencies in 2022. Following the introduction of these regulations, local cryptocurrency traders turned to global platforms that did not necessarily comply with India’s know-your-customer protocols under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.