A little over a week after the oldest cryptocurrency exchange of India, Unocoin, introduced the country’s first Bitcoin ATM in Bengaluru, the city’s cyber-crime police unit seized the kiosk and arrested the company’s co-founder.
All Good Things Must Come to an End…Quickly
Live Bitcoin News reported earlier in October that India’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin, launched the country’s very first cryptocurrency ATM in the city of Bengaluru. The move from the company, coming amid a time of regulatory uncertainty for the entire cryptocurrency community, forecasted signs of relief.
However, the happiness might have been premature, as the Cyber Crime Department of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) reportedly seized the ATM and arrested the co-founder of Unocoin Technologies – Harish BN.
CCB commented on the matter, stating:
The ATM kiosk installed by Unocoin in Bengaluru’s Kempfort Mall has not taken any permission from the state government and is dealing in cryptocurrency outside the remit of the law.
Another co-founder of Unocoin, Sathvik Viswanath, outlined:
We got a lot of bad press after the finance minister announced a ban in February 2018. The minister’s statement was clear: Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say “illegal tender”. There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry.
Land of Confusion
Back in April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cracked down on cryptocurrencies, issuing a circular to all banks, ordering them to cease any relationships they may have with the industry, including exchanges and traders.
The move was immediately attacked by representatives of the industry, but the country’s Supreme Court upheld the ban in July. Nevertheless, the situation remains widely uncertain, especially after the court delayed its decision on several occasions.
Despite all of the above, though, Live Bitcoin News reported on October 10th, citing an anonymous state official within the Indian government, that the country plans to issue a national cryptocurrency.
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