ZebPay, one of India’s oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has shut down its operations from the Indian government’s indecisiveness on cryptocurrencies.
The Indian government has not made official laws with regards to trading cryptocurrencies, but back in April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India issued a notice to banks that prohibited them from dealing in cryptocurrencies. Thus, ZebPay’s blog post cited “[t]he curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully” as reasons for them shutting down. The post added that “[a]t this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business”.
ZebPay had over 3 million users, which made their sudden decision to close up shop come as a surprise. The ZebPay wallet will continue to work for users to send and receive cryptocurrencies, but they will be unable to use the exchange.
Alternative options to centralized exchanges
The shut down in the face of government coercion draws attention to the importance of peer-to-peer exchanges. In fact, this is how many other cryptocurrency exchanges were able to stay afloat despite the Reserve Bank of India’s crackdown. WazirX, Koinex, Unocoin, Giouttus, and Instashift are some other exchanges that implemented peer-to-peer exchanges to circumvent the RBI’s notice. Peer-to-peer trading does still carry risks as it relies on trusting other individuals that are often anonymous or pseudo-anonymous. However, it does carry the benefit of not having to rely on centralized exchanges that often carry the risk of bringing government censorship. Some might think that old-fashioned cash is a way to avoid censorship, but this is not always the case.
India has long been favorable to cash since a large percent of the population was unbanked and still remains either unbanked or underbanked. However, the government has recently started to meddle with cash by issuing a decree that invalidated large denominations of cash bills in an attempt to eliminate criminal activities that operate in cash. Unsurprisingly, their actions actually ended up harming some of the poorest individuals in the country rather than criminals, whom found other methods to secure their wealth. This consumer preference and government aversion to cash are not unique to India, as a recent report showed that over 95% of UK individuals carry cash and less than 10% were ready for a cashless society. Then the United Kingdom and Australia have also explored restrictions on cash. Thus, there is a desire for a solution that carries the benefits of being as easy to acquire, use and transact as cash, but also less prone to government censorship, which the current money system is not providing.
Dash has the benefits of digital money, cash, and censorship resistance – Digital Cash
Dash is striving to become Digital Cash so consumers can easily acquire Dash and also easily use it to purchase whatever they could imagine. Dash has recently integrated into Bitbns, one of the leading exchanges in India, which will make it easier for Indians to acquire Dash. Additionally, since Dash has record low fees and fast confirmation times, it is ideal for being paid in Dash, which is another way consumers can acquire Dash. Then Dash is usable through the numerous merchants on bitrefill, those listed on DiscoverDash, and those merchants that have a POS system that has integrated Dash.
Dash allows consumers to have the benefits and convenience of a fast payment method like cash, but also be independent from government censorship. Dash also allows users the option of additional privacy through PrivateSend. Plus, since Dash is directly usable in so many locations, it mitigates the need to change to another cryptocurrency, and thus the need for an exchange, to actually make purchases. Dash only require a bank-licensed cryptocurrency exchange to move from fiat to Dash, but there are already alternatives such as those mentioned above. As Dash continues to roll out improvements and community outreach groups continue to expand, Dash’s network grows and becomes even more viable as everyday Digital Cash that is also resistant to censorship.