Police Seized ATM Run By Crypto Exchange
Weeks after the local crypto exchange Unocoin set up Indiaâs first digital currency ATM in the city of Bangalore, it has been raided by the Indian police force.
As reported by CoinTelegraph:
âIndia has not been perfectly cohesive in its stance toward crypto. The relationship between the two dates back to December 2013, when the RBI first issued a general public announcement to potential crypto users, warning them about typical risks involved â volatility, security and ties to illicit activities.â
In a recent news report, the Times of India said that the co-founder and chief technology officer of the Unocoin exchange, Harish BV was arrested after he was operating the ATM that was installed in a local shopping centre.
According to the report, the Central Crime Branch of the local police seized the ATM, two laptops, multiple credit and debit cards, a mobile phone, a passport and around $2,500 worth of Indian rupees.
Unocoin is one of the several digital currency exchanges in the country which have gone on after a bank ban issued early this year by central banking authority, the Reserve Bank of India.
As domestic banks halted offering their financial services to the digital currency exchanges, Unocoin launched the ATM that would allow investors to directly deposit Indian rupees to their accounts with the exchange. Last week it was stated by the company that they were planning to open multiple more ATMs in Delhi and Mumbai. According to Coindesk, the Indian police are claiming that Unocoin isnât authorised to this type of ATM.
A report from the Banglore Mirror saw a commissioner from the Banglore city police, Alok Kumar being quoted saying:
"They [Unocoin] did not have any license from RBI, Sebi [Securities and Exchange Board of India] or any other agency to carry out the bitcoin transaction. They were running it without obtaining any trade license from the BBMP [Bangalore government]."
The co-founder and CEO of Unocoin, Sathvik Viswanath, denied the accusation and spoke to Times of India saying:
"The [Finance] 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."
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