In a big setback for Indian crypto exchanges, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has decided to dismantle the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), according to people in the know of matter.
This comes as a blow to the crypto industry battling the dual impact of the crypto crash and the 1 percent TDS on transactions, both of which have led to a huge drop in volumes over the past few months.
BACC was the only council representing crypto exchanges in India. Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO of CoinSwitch and Sumit Gupta, founder and CEO of CoinDCX, the two largest exchanges in the country, served as co-chairs of the council.
“It was discussed today in a meeting. The exchanges need to sign on it before anything is decided,” a crypto exchange executive said on July 14 on condition of anonymity. He also added that the date for the second meeting has not been decided but the discussions were mainly towards the dismantling of BACC.
CoinSwitch Kuber, CoinDCX and WazirX were among those who attended the meeting called by IAMAI.
Another source shared that there have been disagreements growing between the association and crypto founders for a few months now, with IAMAI particularly being unhappy with exchanges not adhering to internally decided codes of conduct.
Some of the key members of IAMAI had remained distant to BACC and its workings off late. While the Association believes in the technology, it wanted to call out wrong practices by the industry, a source said.
“The BACC group has been highly indisciplined in terms of following through the demands and requirements of the government as decided during the meetings with government bodies. The only commitment that was processed through timely was the pulling down TV and digital commercials promoting crypto investing. IAMAI will not be involved with the crypto body or discussions going forward,” according to him.
The development was first reported by the Economic Times.
The exchanges also delayed independent audits on certain issues, and such instances made it difficult for IAMAI to represent the industry.
“How can IAMAI take accountability for a group that is not willing to walk the talk. If the crypto industry wants regulation to come in, they need to first show compliance. They cannot solve this by staying in the grey areas of regulations,” the source cited above added.
This decision comes at a time when crypto trading is at an all time low with volumes dropping over 80% since March this year. After a blockbuster year, with 30% tax and 1% TDS, exchanges are grappling with declining volumes as well as the market crash.