India is a rather popular region when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As is the case with any popular financial tool, criminals flock to this industry as well. The situation is slowly getting out of hand in this country as crypto crime is clearly on the rise.
India’s Cryptocurrency Crime Spree
There are many benefits to cryptocurrencies compared to traditional money. In terms of pseudonymity and privacy, cryptocurrencies offer a lot of new opportunities. There are always two sides to every story, and not all cryptocurrency users have legitimate intentions. There are quite a few scams in India as of right now. This trend has become more apparent as time progresses.
One of the biggest scams in India is GainBitcoin. The company defrauded investors using a Ponzi scheme and ran off with $300m worth of Bitcoin. This issue became widespread as it also involves Bollywood celebrities. The GainBitcoin story is still far from over at this stage, as the investigation continues. Additionally, local police officers have their hands full with other types of scams making the rounds.
Ranging from phishing to hacking and MLM schemes to ransom, criminals will demand Bitcoin in one form or another. Although phishing and hacking remain the go-to methods, these new forms of crime are of grave concern.
The Problems Intensify
Solving cryptocurrency crimes in India is a very steep challenge. The perceived anonymity of Bitcoin and various altcoins makes life difficult for police officials. Additionally, the general public seems keen on investing in any programs or services linked to this new industry. Fake applications cause many problems for users, as the users often see their cryptocurrency balance stolen in the process.
There is also the looming threat of companies such as OneCoin. While widely considered to be a pyramid scheme, it is a venture with significant traction in India. Even so, over 400 duped investors have filed complaints against this company. So far, none of them has been successful in recovering their money. Get-rich-quick schemes are popping up all over India these past few years.
Sad news for Crypto when it's legality is sub judice in India! @moneytradecoin (MTC) is reportedly busted by Mumbai Police as a Ponzi scheme involving fraud of Rs. 500 Cr. The same MTC had approached Delhi High Court against RBI banking restriction!!https://t.co/05QVv0SEpU
— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) June 5, 2018
Another fraudulent scheme was carried out by Money Trade Coin (MTC). This company offered dazzling returns, but it actually swindled over $74 million USD from its victims.
Last but not least, domestic exchanges remain prone to hacks and thefts. Coinsecure lost 438 BTC earlier in 2018. While that was the first case such an attack was publicly documented, it will not be the last incident either. Such issues are a black mark against the increasing use of cryptocurrency in India. The local government is still in the process of drafting regulatory guidelines. This new crime wave will only make that job harder than need be.
What do you think about the growing cryptocurrency-related crimes in India? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Twitter/@cryptokanoon.