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28 Crypto Firms Register Operations with India’s Financial Intelligence Unit: Details

WazirX, CoinDCX, and CoinSwitch are among the 28 crypto firms that have registered their operations with the Indian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). This registration is vital and was first mandated to be completed by firms dealing in virtual digital assets back in March this year. In India, entities dealing in crypto assets are categorised as ‘reporting entities’ under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The aim is to ensure that cryptocurrencies do not pose any serious threats to the investor community.

In a recent disclosure at the parliament, Pankaj Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Finance confirmed that 28 crypto-related firms have officially listed themselves with the Indian authorities in these last two years. Unocoin, Giottus, Zebpay, Mudrex, Buyucoin, Rario, and Bitbns are other crypto firms that have made it to this list, screenshots of which are now surfacing on social media.

Commenting on the development, R Venkatesh, Senior VP and Public Policy head, CoinSwitch said, “this is heartening and lays to rest any confusion (intended or unintended) about the applicability of India’s PMLA provisions to foreign VDA trading platforms.”

Back in March this year, India’s Finance Ministry said that entities dealing in virtual digital assets would be considered ‘reporting entities’ under the PMLA.

Ashish Singhal, the co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch explained what it means to be a ‘reporting entity’ under the PMLA guidelines, while replying on a thread on X.

“As a reporting entity to FIU-IND, VASPs like CoinSwitch fall under the PMLA guidelines — similar to banks, stockbrokers etc. The best practices followed by these financial institutions on transaction monitoring now applies to crypto too. Previously, there was no clarity on this. Now, India has a proper framework for crypto too…more transparency,” Singhal said.

Under the anti-money laundering law, reporting entities are required to maintain KYC details or records of documents evidencing the identity of its clients and beneficial owners as well as account files and business correspondence relating to its clients.

” Indian domiciled REs, who are already battling the debilitating tax treatment for VDAs, would like that the current discriminatory fallout of the PMLA notification is levelled soon, and we are encouraged by the Minister’s response that ‘appropriate action under PMLA shall be initiated in cases of non-compliance by offshore platforms’,” Venkatesh noted.

As of now, no offshore companies such as Binance and Coinbase have made it to the FIU’s crypto list so far. They do, however, need to register with the Indian authorities to avoid legal consequences.

During India’s G20 presidency, India worked with global financial institutions on formulating laws to govern the crypto sector on an international level. While Sitharaman said that the G20 roadmap on crypto has been adopted, more clarity is expected to come when Brazil takes over the G20 presidency.

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