Tension in India Boils Up: Second Unocoin Co-Founder Arrested


Another co-founder of India’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin was reportedly arrested today. The move followed yesterday’s action when the company saw its first Bitcoin ATM being seized by authorities and other co-founder arrested.


Saga Continues

Live Bitcoin News reported yesterday, October 24, that India’s very first Bitcoin ATM set up by the country’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin has been seized by the Cyber Crime Department of the Central Crime Branch (CCB). The authorities also arrested the company’s co-founder Harish BN.

The merit for the CCB’s actions was that the ATM kiosk was installed in the city of Bengaluru without the permission of the state government.

At the time, the other co-founder of the company, Sathvik Vishwanath, noted:

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.

From Bad to Worse

Today, outlet News 18 reports that Viswanath has also been arrested on charges of collusion. Citing a police officer, the media outlines:

The accused in order to earn money had joined hands with the other accused and set up these kiosks illegally, thereby duping the public.

The legality of Bitcoin ATMs in the country is yet to be determined. As Vishwanath had previously said, the minister’s statement that cryptocurrencies are not considered to be “legal tender” in the country doesn’t on its own entail that they are illegal.

What do you think of India’s move to arrest co-founders of Unocoin and to seize their Bitcoin ATM? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of ShutterStock

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