Harish BV, the co-founder of the largest Bitcoin Exchange- Unocoin was arrested for running a Bitcoin ATM Kiosk service. The Bitcoin ATM which was set up by Unocoin in Bangalore and other parts of the country was in the news lately.
The Bitcoin ATM Kiosk was set up last week with an aim to bypass the ban by the Reserve Bank of India due to which the bank accounts of all cryptocurrency exchanges were shut down. Unocoin Exchange customers were allowed to deposit and withdraw cash from the ATM by buying or selling of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The ATM was not in collaboration with any bank or financial institution.
The Indian Authorities reported that the Bitcoin ATM Kiosk was purely illegal and had been set up by the company and its founders without any permission from the concerned authorities.
The accused, Harish BV was presented at the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court who ordered a policy custody of 7 days. The Indian Authorities also reported that such stringent steps will be taken in future as well.
The Police and Indian Authorities warned the general public to not invest in cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, Sathvik Viswanath, partner of Harish BV and the co-founder of Unocoin Exchange said that the business model of Unocoin was totally legal and that it is not illegal to buy and sell bitcoin in India. He stated that his company had been publicized badly after the Indian Finance Minister announced his statement on cryptocurrencies in February this year. Sathvik Viswanath stated:
“The minister’s statement was clear, he stated that 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.”
According to Unocoin Exchange, the ATM did not do well as the local media purely discouraged it and showcased it under a negative light. The Exchange had tweeted about the same on 21st October 2018:
The Indian Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts are totally shattered from the move by the authorities and believe that the Indian Government lacks behind in the knowledge about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies and relates it to other Ponzi Schemes. Can the following steps that were taken by the Indian Authorities considered genuine? What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below.