As we now, the Reserve Bank of India, India’s Central Bank have made controversial moves to totally halt cryptocurrency trading within India in order to establish regulations to essentially stamp out the industry. This has of course been met with a great deal of resistance, culturally, India are at the fore of blockchain research and have established some incredible training initiatives to help impoverished young people develop new skills within blockchain research in order to assist them seek a better quality of life, with education and transferrable skills. Yet, as it stands, the central banks want nothing to do with it.
The regulations have allegedly been established to help stamp out fraud and digital crime, yet in a new report by Quartz India, we are seeing a summary of some startling statistics that highlight just how rife cryptocurrency-based crime is in India and that therefore, if this really is the intention of the Reserve Bank of India, they need to take further, more appropriate steps to do more about it.
You can see the full report for yourself, here-
Here are a few examples that highlight just how rife this sort of corruption is in India, according to Quartz:
“A New Delhi-based investor approached the authorities after she lost bitcoin worth Rs6.5 lakh to hacking. She lost another Rs35 lakh to crooks who promised to help retrieve the earlier amount.”
“Users of Zebpay, a cryptocurrency exchange in India, received messages asking them to deposit a certain amount of money as part of a survey in exchange for bitcoins. These messages were sent out from a Twitter handle that looked very similar to Zebpay’s actual account.”
“Investors in OneCoin, another company that launched a digital coin-led investment scheme, realised that the firm didn’t even have a registered office address or a bank account. Nearly 400 people were taken in by the promise of high returns.”
“In April, Coinsecure, a New Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange, was robbed of 438 bitcoins worth Rs20 crore. The firm named an employee in a first information report filed later that month, while promising to refund money to its investors in due time. It’s the first time that an exchange came under attack in India.”
“Tech-savvy kidnappers in India have also been asking for bitcoin as ransom. In April, nine police officers in Gujarat were held for extorting 200 units of a digital currency from a businessman.”
Obviously, the problem here isn’t the industry, it is actually a problem with the sorts of people who are getting their hands on blockchain technology and choose to use it for malicious purposes. Overall, cryptocurrency is not the drive behind this, rather, it is a problem with greed and in many cases, desperation. You have to consider that maybe these people are commit these crimes as they are in a desperate situation and need to find money. I’m not saying this justifies committing crime and stealing from others, but I think it is a perspective that suggests the problem here is more culturally embedded and not as a result of cryptocurrency itself.
Therefore, regulation won’t work. Instead, the government need to find the source of the problem, that at least might help the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry to recover.
Which ever side you sit on this argument, Quartz are highlighting some very interesting events that just scratch the surface with regards to what is going on in India. As a country, it is clear that they will want cryptocurrencies to flourish and indeed, hopefully this will be the case. For now, let’s home crime rates do slow down and that eventually, a safe crypto-trading environment can be fostered by the authorities, by the banks and most importantly, by the people.