Update on 21st June 2018:
After our last communication: https://support.zebpay.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001229125-Zebpay-Announcement-Your-Rupee-Withdrawals-Could-Stop customers have several questions in mind. Here are some of the commonly asked questions, and our responses:
Q) Are rupee withdrawals working at present?
Q) How long will rupee withdrawals continue?
A) As long as our bank accounts are functional.
Q) Why are you asking customers to withdraw rupees?
A) Our primary responsibility is customer-protection, and we do not want customers to suffer. We want them to know the risks, and plan accordingly.
Q) You are only talking about rupee balances and withdrawals, what about BTC and other cryptos?
A) Crypto deposits and withdrawals are continuing as usual. The RBI circular only talks to banks, and other regulated entities about shutting accounts. This doesn’t affect BTC and other cryptos. Many of you have come to trust Zebpay with your crypto. We cherish that trust and want to assure you that nothing has changed on that front.
Q) Why did you make the announcement now, and not wait till the last date?
A) We issued multiple warnings after RBI issued the circular on 6 April 2018. The primary purpose was to inform our customers of the risks they face. There can always be issues that can arise out of everyone rushing to sell crypto, or withdraw rupees at the same time quite close to the last date. Since we are now close to the three-month deadline mentioned in the RBI circular, we wanted customers to have enough time to receive the announcement and make a decision.
Q) Why was Zebpay the first (or only) exchange to make such an announcement?
A) Bank account closure as per the RBI circular is not restricted to Zebpay or any specific Indian exchange. We do not think that our bank accounts will shut down before those of other Indian exchanges. We released this announcement while there was still plenty of time for customers to plan their actions. Our motivation was to act in the best interest of our customers.
Q) If I do not withdraw my INR from Zebpay, and your bank accounts shut, will I be able to buy crypto against that INR?
A) Our present intention is to allow crypto-INR pairs to trade even after our bank accounts shut. However, our entire industry is facing an unprecedented situation because of the RBI circular. For all practical purposes, banking is an essential service for any business. So, we are unable to fathom all the consequences of the bank account shutting and hence cannot guarantee that we will continue the crypto-INR trade pairs forever. But, to repeat: our present intention is to allow crypto-INR pairs to trade even after our bank accounts shut.
Q) So if I have INR balance in my Zebpay account after your bank accounts are shut, will I never get my money back?
A) If crypto-INR pairs are trading on Zebpay after our bank accounts shut, you can buy crypto and withdraw that. But if either the crypto-INR trading price is not suitable, or such crypto-INR trading is infeasible, the INR will still belong to you. It is beyond our ability to guess if / when we will be allowed to withdraw such money to your bank account. It is precisely because of this risk that we felt like we owed it to our customers to release the announcement well in time. Our hope is that our customers will appreciate that we are acting in their best interest, even at a significant detriment to our own business interests.
Q) Owing to these announcements, the price volatility has increased. Does Zebpay itself buy/sell crypto to gain from these dips and spikes?
A) Absolutely not. Zebpay does not buy, sell, or trade in crypto. It is just an exchange platform that match-makes buy-and-sell orders of its customers.
Q) I have heard that there is an on-going court case related to the RBI circular? How will the result of that case change your plans?
A) Through our industry body, we and several other Indian exchanges have sought relief from the Supreme Court of India. Naturally, we cannot speculate about the outcome of legal proceedings. We hope that the authorities will recognize what is in the best interest of Indian citizens, and come to our rescue. If the outcome allows us to continue offering rupee deposits and withdrawals, then we will be very happy to do so.
Q) Regardless of anything, will crypto-to-crypto trading continue at Zebpay?
A) Yes our present intention is to continue offering crypto-to-crypto trading.
Q) Is Zebpay opening new accounts?
A) Yes. And the KYC process will continue to be rigorously followed.