BitConnect India is now at the centre of an investigation as authorities believe that the whole concept was ‘probably’ a Ponzi scheme, a scam that saw round $3 billion in investments before the ‘exchange’ closed down in January 2018. As a result of this investigation, part of a wider national clampdown of cryptocurrencies, the head of BitConnect Divyesh Darji has been arrested.
According to Reports, BitConnect had encouraged around $3 billion in cryptocurrency investments, but only actually paid out around $400,000.00. This is most concerning when you actually go on to explore the BitConnect service. BitConnect was not a traditional exchange, instead, it offered an investment opportunity to investors who wanted to convert their FIAT currency into crypto, Bitcoin specifically, and then into BitConnect Coin, in order to help store their cash. This came off the back of a government decision to ‘flush’ around $215 million worth of bank notes, rendering them worthless in an attempt to combat tax evasion.
This, in time with the cryptocurrency boom made BitConnect a very attractive service indeed. According to Finance Magnates:
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi made 15 billion rupees’ ($215.5 million) worth of banknotes invalid as a tactic to combat tax evasion. Worried citizens looked for ways to store their cash, and BitConnect stepped in with an offer. The offer goes like this: people give BitConnect Bitcoin in return for BitConnect Coin, the platform’s native token. The investor must then lend the BCC back to BitConnect, where ‘tradebots’ programmed to trade profitably will make a profit for them – in fact, a guaranteed 40 percent and as much as 120 percent a year.”
See more for yourself, here.
Of course, these tradebots didn’t trade and thus, investors overall lost out of a lot of money, in the meantime, BitConnect profited significantly.
According to Finance Magnates, Ashish Bhatia, the Director General of the Gujarat Police Criminal Investigation Department has said:
“The company was registered in the UK and had an office in Surat. They launched their own ‘bitconnect coins’ soon after demonetization. They promoted the company on social media and by holding gala functions in cities across the world. They lured investors with 60% monthly interest, and incentives in the form of ‘referral interest’.”
Globally BitConnect are under scrutiny and currently face heavy legal proceedings, therefore this incident in India is by no means isolated to the Indian branch of BitConnect, rather, this could transpire to be part of something deeper and darker.