Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, traveled across the world to make an announcement in early April: Coinbase was bringing crypto to India.
In an auditorium in Bangalore, Mr. Armstrong, wearing a type of loose buttoned shirt popular in India, said Coinbase planned to set up a hub of 1,000 employees there by the end of 2022. The company was investing in Indian start-ups and allowing local customers to buy and sell digital currencies on its exchange. For Coinbase, it was a chance to transform finance in a country of more than 1 billion people and lure new customers from across Asia.
“Namaste,” Mr. Armstrong declared. “We come with humility and respect.”
But that week, Coinbase got some bad news. A government-backed group issued a statement suggesting that the company would be unable to use a crucial payments platform — a system that was supposed