Founder of cryptocurrency exchange arrested in India

Founder of cryptocurrency exchange arrested in India

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Answer Founder of cryptocurrency exchange arrested in India

The Times of India reports that the co-founder of the Indian currency exchange Unocoin was arrested shortly after setting up an unregistered Bitcoin ATM in Bangalore.

Co-founder Harish, 37, was arrested by the police after he installed an ATM at the Kemp Fort complex on the Old Airport Road, in cooperation with Unocoin’s partner, Sathvik Viswanath. The latter has not been arrested, according to media reports.

The story cites a press release from the Central Crime Branch (CCB), which claims that the installation of an ATM is in violation of the lack of “any permission from the state government and that it is dealing in unknown currency outside the scope of the law.”

Police are also said to have confiscated “a cash machine, two laptops, mobile phones, three credit cards, five debit cards, a passport, five Unocoin seals and a temporary encryption device, and 1,800,000 Indian rupees ($2,460)”.

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As confirmed by multiple local Indian media sources, the ATM was not actually working prior to his arrest by the police, as the official Unocoin Twitter account tweeted on October 20:

“Our device did not do well with some of the mainstream media reports explaining it negatively. The machine is still under final test mode and will be commissioned next week. The machine has been temporarily moved from its original installation location.”

Reportedly, “Harish B. F” before a Metropolitan Court Judge (ACMM), who sent him into police custody for seven days. Police are said to have stated that “more arrests are possible” and have pleaded with the public “not to be tempted by the prospect of making huge profits” with cryptocurrencies.

The Times of India reports that the machine has been used to facilitate computer deals, with the Indian online newspaper The News Minute (TNM) explaining that the response has been made as per the Reserve Bank of India’s strict ban on financial institutions dealing in cryptocurrencies.

TNM also notes that Unocoin has tried to establish “new mechanisms and solutions to reduce problems.” [التنظيمية] and obstacles [الناتجة] by the current central government. And that the machine can withdraw and deposit bitcoin, but not buy or sell cryptocurrency.

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Referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s 2018-2019 speech, The Times of India quoted Unicoin’s Viswanath as saying:

“The Minister’s statement was clear: Commercial fraud is illegal in India. He didn’t say “illegal bid”. There is a big difference. This means that you take the risk of your investment and there is no regulation of the industry.”

As previously reported, Unocoin announced this summer that it was suspending “as per demand” paper deposits and withdrawals from the Reserve Bank of India. However, crypto-asset deposits are still active in both the rupee (Indian currency) trading platform “Unocoin” and the “Unodax” cryptocurrency exchange.

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