Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Zebpay Sees Exponential Growth in User Base
On May 15, one of India’s largest bitcoin exchange Zebpay announced that its android application achieved a major milestone; obtaining 500,000 users. That is, more mobile users than all South Korean mobile bitcoin applications combined.
Ever since the launch of its bitcoin trading platform, Zebpay along with the other two exchanges Coinsecure and Unocoin have self-regulated themselves with strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) systems on par with that of other heavily regulated regions such as China, South Korea, Japan and the US.
Although Zebpay received the approval of India’s leading international law firm Nishith Desai Associates and the country’s major internet organization the Center For Internet & Society (CIS) and reaffirmed that bitcoin is legal under all existing laws in India, the exchange has consistently demonstrated and implemented policies of high standard bitcoin exchanges in order to obtain leverage over the local government to fully legalize bitcoin.
As Bitconnect reported on May 1, the implementation of strict KYC and AML systems that are rather costly and inefficient paid off for Zebpay and other local bitcoin exchanges when the Unified Payments Interface of the Bank of Maharashtra was hacked by a group of hackers. During the attack, around $10 million was stolen from the bank and was cashed out to bitcoin through Zebpay and a few other exchanges.
Almost immediately after the incident, Zebpay opened an investigation with local authorities and complied with the requests of Indian law enforcement to recover the funds and most importantly, unravelled the identities of the group of hackers. The incident granted Zebpay and the entire Indian bitcoin exchange market with a strong leverage to convince and request the government to legalize bitcoin, considering its transparent and decentralized nature that could provide banking services to the majority of the Indian population that currently struggle to obtain access to financial services.
At the time, Zebpay co-founder Sandeep Goenka stated:
“Zebpay helped the Pune Cyber Crime department to get back the bitcoins purchased by the accused. This was possible because we follow KYC for all users. The Cybercrime office then gave orders to sell the bitcoins to recover the money. These bitcoins were also sold on Zebpay.”
It is likely that bitcoin will become in legalized in India as long as the demand for the digital currency and requests of local authorities are met.