Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to Victims

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to Victims

The alleged bitcoin Ponzi kingpin, Amit Bhardwaj, has reportedly offered to pay back the initial investments in Indian rupees to those who lost money through his scheme. However, victims want the current value of their cryptocurrencies, not the initial investments. Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, has also been called in to help with the investigation.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Ponzi Kingpin Offers to Compensate Victims

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsAmit Bhardwaj, the founder of GBminers and Gainbitcoin, has offered “to pay back investors their initial investments in Indian rupees,” the Factor Daily reported Wednesday.

He has been accused of duping thousands of investors with promises of unrealistic returns on bitcoin investments. According to the news outlet, “dozens have filed police complaints in Pune, Mumbai, Nanded (Maharashtra), Kolkata, Delhi and others cities.” One of the victims was quoted as saying:

We want the returns in (today’s) cryptocurrency value and not the value of the cryptocurrency when we invested. Today, the bitcoin price is much higher than what it was when we invested. It is like Bhardwaj will keep the profits and just return the principal amount which is wrong.

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsSince the middle of 2015, more than Rs 1,000 crore (~US$146 million) is estimated to have been invested in the Bhardwaj-led Gainbitcoin empire, the publication detailed.

Citing that Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, was called in to help with the investigation, Inspector Jayram Paygude of the Pune Cyber Crime Cell explained to the publication:

Zebpay is the platform through which investment and sale of bitcoins were done in this case, which is why they were called for an enquiry.

Challenge Recovering Crypto

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsDuring an assembly session held last week, Nationalist Congress Party member Hemant Takle raised questions about the delay in recovering bitcoins “and the inability of the police to nab the remaining absconders in the case,” according to the news outlet. He also raised the question regarding the compensation that Bhardwaj’s victims will receive, pointing out the difference in the price of BTC now and at the time of their initial investments.

In response to Takle’s statement, Deepak Kesarkar, a member of the 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, explained the difficulty in recovering some of the victims’ money which has been invested in bitcoin, stating:

Some of this amount is recovered by the police department through the e-wallets of these companies. The value of these digital currencies in the wallet will be recovered but it is difficult to recover the investment made in foreign companies.

Last week, the Indian state of Maharashtra announced that it is establishing a special unit to investigate all cases related to cryptocurrency, a move which follows the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India taking effect.

What do you think of Amit Bhardwaj offering to repay investors their initial investments? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zebpay.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to Victims appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance – Outlines Key Areas of Concern

Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance - Outlines Key Areas of Concern

The Reserve Bank of India has justified its crypto banking ban to an industry group which has been trying to convince the central bank to ease crypto restrictions. In response, the central bank outlines key areas of concern and upholds its stance on crypto.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Main Concerns

Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance - Outlines Key Areas of ConcernIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has divulged key areas of concern regarding cryptocurrency. The communication is in response to a representation submitted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The document was sent to the central bank during the Supreme Court hearing of IAMAI’s petition against the crypto banking ban.

While RBI’s response cannot be made public, some industry participants have seen it and have discussed its content.

A source who has seen the document told news.Bitcoin.com that RBI told IAMAI it is particularly concerned about investor protection, cryptocurrencies’ lack of intrinsic value, and their anonymity, which could lead to money laundering.

Investor Protection

Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance - Outlines Key Areas of ConcernSohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on RBI’s response, stating that “all the basis of their arguments is ‘Investor Protection’.”

Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, concurred. “Some of the arguments seem to be around investor protection,” he noted, adding that “but investor protection comes with regulation and not a ban!”

Other crypto exchanges also agree that a ban is not the way to protect investors. Praveen Kumar, CEO of crypto exchange Belfrics, was quoted by Quartz:

By limiting transactions via bank accounts and allowing more cash-related transactions, RBI is allowing more people to get duped…Instead, they need to regulate the exchanges and lay down guidelines that can help prevent these frauds.

In addition, the source shared with news.Bitcoin.com that, “exchanges have been hacked globally and that worries them.”

There has been a rise in crypto-related scams in India. Even BJP party leaders have been accused of being involved in a bitcoin scam. Recently, the Indian state of Maharashtra announced that it is setting up a special investigative unit to investigate all crypto-related cases.

No Intrinsic Value

Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance - Outlines Key Areas of ConcernThe central bank is also concerned that “cryptos have no intrinsic value,” the source added.

RBI’s view reiterates the statement issued by the country’s finance ministry in December last year. Aimed at warning people of the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies, claiming that they are “like Ponzi schemes,” the statement reads:

VCs [virtual currencies] don’t have any intrinsic value and are not backed by any kind of assets. The price of bitcoin and other VCs therefore is entirely a matter of mere speculation resulting in spurt and volatility in their prices. There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in ponzi schemes….

Anonymity of Crypto

The third major factor of concern for RBI is the “anonymity of crypto leading to money laundering,” the source noted.

However, exchanges argue that strict adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms would prevent money laundering, Quartz elaborated and quoted them clarifying, “all transactions are usually carried out via bank account transfers to keep a tab on the money trail.”

India is also not the only country concerned about the anonymity of crypto. Japan, where cryptocurrency is a legal means of payment, is another. The country’s top financial regulator has reportedly been pressuring exchanges such as Coincheck, which was hacked in January, to drop privacy coins.

What do you think of RBI’s concerns? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Indian government.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Central Bank Justifies Its Crypto Stance – Outlines Key Areas of Concern appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

India’s central bank has responded to a representation about its crypto banking ban. The Supreme Court gave the central bank seven days to reply following a hearing last week of the petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India against the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Response

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has responded to a representation submitted by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as directed by the country’s Supreme Court.

Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that the representation is “a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” noting that it was “made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsThis representation was sent to the central bank on July 3 during the IAMAI petition hearing. The Court ordered the central bank to reply within seven days. On July 11, RBI finally sent its response to the association.

According to Sohail Merchant, the CEO of Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, RBI’s reply is a “2 page generic response.” While stating that “as of now the response cannot be made public” but there is “not much to read though,” he commented:

IAMAI received the response from RBI as directed by SC [Supreme Court], the response is generic with the same language as the public circulars. They have not even given deliberate thought to the points made by us, all the basis of their arguments is ‘Investor Protection.’

Shetty reiterated, “RBI has responded to IAMAI…They aren’t changing their stand.”

Until Next Hearing on July 20

The central bank issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies, including crypto exchanges.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsRBI gave banks three months to sever their relationships with crypto businesses. As the ban went into effect on July 5, banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges. One by one, the exchanges stopped supporting fiat deposits and withdrawals.

To bypass banking restrictions, a number of exchanges are launching peer-to-peer (P2P) trading services. Koinex and Coindelta are reportedly launching their P2P services on July 15. Wazirx, on the other hand, already launched its P2P service. The company wrote, “Wazirx P2P goes live today, 10th July at 3PM. With Wazirx P2P, a buyer and seller can buy and sell cryptos for INR directly with each other.”

Meanwhile, industry participants and stakeholders are trying to get the RBI ban lifted by filing petitions with the Supreme Court, which will all be heard on July 20.

Do you think RBI will soon lift the banking ban on crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, IAMAI, and the RBI.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Special Unit Formed to Investigate Crypto Cases in India

Special Unit Formed to Investigate Crypto Cases in India

A special investigations unit has been set up in the Indian state of Maharashtra where there is a rise in bitcoin-related scams. The unit will take over the investigation of all cases relating to cryptocurrency in the state that are currently handled by various police departments.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Special Unit Formed for Crypto

Minister Deepak Vasant Kesarkar, a member of the 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, made a statement regarding cryptocurrency cases in his state on Tuesday. The Pune Mirror quoted him replying to a Calling Attention motion tabled by the opposition leader in the Legislative Council:

A special investigative team (SIT) will be formed to investigate all cases related to cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, in Maharashtra…The SIT will take over investigations currently being done by various units of the state police.

He explained that the new unit will be headed “by an official of the rank of additional director-general of police,” adding that it has been given three months to research all of the companies “that have cheated investors in the name of cryptocurrency.”

Panel to Probe Scams

Special Unit Formed to Investigate Crypto Cases in IndiaThe Maharashtra government has also decided to conduct an inquiry using “a panel headed by additional director general of Economic Offence (EO) Prabhat Kumar,” DNA publication detailed.

“The panel will be entitled to coordinate with central agencies including Enforcement Directorate (ED) for probe in such scams.”

Kesarkar told the news outlet:

Already such cases were reported in Thane, Pune, Nanded and Kolhapur where members of public have been allegedly cheated through cryptocurrency.

The Pune Mirror elaborated, “It is estimated that investors from the state were cheated to the tune of around Rs. 2,000 crore [~US$2,906,400] in cryptocurrency trade,” adding that “the most common method of cheating was offering high returns under the multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.”

Other Recent Crypto Fraud Cases

Special Unit Formed to Investigate Crypto Cases in IndiaLast week, the Indian Congress party alleged that some of the top BJP party leaders are involved in a bitcoin scam in Gujarat. The Financial Express quoted a Congress spokesperson saying there were “reports of the state police blackmailing some businessmen in Surat for extortion and named a former BJP legislator as one of the kingpins.”

On Monday, a city sessions court refused bail to seven police officers who were arrested in connection with a bitcoin extortion case in June, according to the Times of India. They were accused of being part of the police team that allegedly abducted and detained Surat-based builder Shailesh Bhatt and forced him and his business partner Kirit Paladiya to transfer 200 BTC.

The move by the Maharashtra government came just four days after the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect.

What do you think of the special unit set up to investigate crypto cases? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wikipedia.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Special Unit Formed to Investigate Crypto Cases in India appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are forging ahead with their solutions to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. A growing number of exchanges have stopped fiat support as they ramp up peer-to-peer and crypto-to-crypto trading.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban in Effect

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanThe crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect at the end of last week. The central bank issued a circular three months ago, banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies. The industry was hopeful that the Supreme Court would grant a stay on the ban on July 3 but the court did not and the RBI ban subsequently went into effect.

Wazirx announced on July 4, “We’ve discontinued INR deposits with immediate effect,” adding:

Our banking partner has abruptly stopped supporting our bank account. This is due to the recent RBI circular banning banks from providing support to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanKoinex announced on July 7 that users can “submit INR withdrawal requests till 02.00 PM on July 9, 2018 (Monday) after which no further INR withdrawal requests will be accepted.”

Buyucoin announced last week that “Deposit and Withdrawal will be halted until further notice due to RBI circular by midnight 5th of July’18.”

Three of the first crypto exchanges to announce a suspension of fiat deposits and withdrawals were Zebpay, Pexo, and Coinome, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Another major exchange, Unocoin, has yet to announce that it has stopped fiat support at press time.

P2P Trading

Amid RBI’s ban, Indian crypto exchanges have been ramping up their solutions to continue business after the ban. Among them is P2P trading, where the exchange acts as an escrow service between two customers for each fiat to crypto trade.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanWazirx has been preparing to launch a P2P trading service. The exchange announced on July 8, “WazirX P2P is launching in a few days.”

Koinex is also gearing up to launch its P2P service called Loop. Citing that “the INR/crypto trading corridor may be discontinued over the next few days with prior notice,” the exchange revealed on July 7, “after that, users will be able to trade via Koinex Loop and True USD corridors for fiat stability.” The exchange elaborated:

Loop is a peer-to-peer transaction network for digital assets using fiat currency. Koinex users will automatically find their KYC-verified Loop accounts ready upon release. Loop is in the final stages of development and will be released before July 15, 2018.

Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI BanMeanwhile, a number of exchanges have ramped up crypto-to-crypto trading services, similar to Binance and Poloniex.

Unocoin recently launched its crypto-to-crypto platform, Unodax. On July 4, the exchange announced more trading pairs for the platform. It now offers 9 BTC trading pairs, 4 ETH trading pairs, and 4 XRP trading pairs. Unocoin emphasized:

Unodax, India’s leading blockchain and cryptoasset company is introducing 17 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban

Zebpay also offers 19 cryptocurrencies and over 35 trading pairs on its platform now that it has dropped fiat support.

What do you think of RBI’s ban and crypto exchanges’ solutions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Forge Ahead With Solutions to RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

On the backdrop of recent developments concerning the status and the future of cryptocurrencies in India, Bitcoin has been dragged into a political scandal between the country’s two major parties. We’ve covered the story in today’s Bitcoin in Brief. Also in the daily, check the details around some BCH-related projects and services, as well as the latest incarnations of the blockchain technology.

 Also read: Bittrex Invades Europe and Blockchain Gets Raunchy

Bitcoin in a Blame Game

With all the emotion surrounding the fate and future of cryptocurrency in India, it was just a matter of time before Bitcoin entered big politics and big scandals in Delhi. This week, the Indian National Congress (INC), one of the two leading parties in the country, accused its major political opponent, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of being complicit in a “bitcoin scam”. On Thursday, INC spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil demanded a judicial probe into an alleged money-laundering scheme using the cryptocurrency.


During a press conference, the Congress representative claimed BJP leadership participated in a scam in the state of Gujarat involving the conversion of “black money” through hawala and bitcoin transactions. According to Gohil, the “massive multi-layer extortion and hawala scam” was carried out by some top BJP leaders to the tune of at least 5,000 crore rupees, almost $730 million, Crypto News reported. However, he also quoted local press mentioning figures of up to 88,000 crore rupees, close to 13 billion USD.

One of the main allegations is that BJP politicians have used bitcoin to convert illicit money and transfer them to businessmen in Gujarat during the demonetization, which was used as a cover. “We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation in this maze of ‘mega bitcoin scam’ so that the truth comes out,” Shaktisinh Gohil insisted, quoted by Indian media. BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni has since rejected the allegations calling them laughable. “The dirty tricks department of the Congress is at work to spread confusion and lies,” he said.

Blockchain Craze Goes On

While the Indian political class is exploiting bitcoin as a modern weapon in its never-ending wars, the government administration in Delhi has expressed willingness to explore the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency. The latest idea is to use blockchain in the management of fertilizer subsidies. The National Institution for Transforming India has recently signed a statement of intent to collaborate with Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals on a solution to achieve that. The two organizations hope to create a proof of concept for an application that would improve the efficiency of the fertilizer distribution chain and increase the transparency of the subsidy system.

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

That’s not the only new blockchain-related development in the Agribusiness sector. It was reported this week that the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has completed a pilot program employing the technology at a cattle slaughterhouse. The FSA has experimented using blockchain technology as a regulatory tool in order to ensure compliance in the food sector.

“This is a really exciting development. We thought that blockchain technology might add real value to a part of the food industry such as a slaughterhouse, whose work requires a lot of inspection and collation of results,” said FSA information management head Sian Thomas, quoted by the specialized outlet Foodprocessing Technology. The news comes after reports of another crypto project in the food industry – an Israeli startup is working on creating a global vegan-friendly decentralized platform fueled by its own token, Vegancoin.

Some representatives of the higher education system are also fascinated by blockchain. The state-funded Financial University, an institution under the Russian government, has announced plans to store diploma records on a distributed ledger, RTT News reported. Starting this September, employers will be able to verify the authenticity of any digital diplomas issued by the university on its official website, which provides a convenient and fast verification service. The idea for the project came from students of the International Finance Faculty.

BCH Universe Expands

Cointext, a blockchain startup that has developed a service allowing offline bitcoin cash (BCH) transactions, announced it had closed a round of $600,000 in BCH seed funding led by the Texas-based venture capital firm Yeoman’s Capital. The platform allows users to transact cryptocurrency with any type of mobile phone over text messages, without the need for Internet. They can send BCH to phone numbers or BCH addresses communicating with the blockchain through an SMS gateway.

The beta release of the service was launched in March, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The English language version is currently available in eight countries – US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. No accounts, passwords, apps, or complicated cryptocurrency addresses are needed to use Cointext. Anyone can get a Cointext wallet by texting the word RECEIVE to the access number for their region, or when another user texts funds to their phone.

The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows

Another positive development involving Bitcoin Cash this week was the announcement that Japanese exchange and wallet provider Bitpoint had started accepting BCH through its Bitpointpay service. The application has been upgraded to add support for BCH payments as part of efforts to expand payment options. Its users can now initiate payments in three cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). Currently, the Bitpoint merchant app accepts payments only from Bitpay accounts but the team plans to allow transfers from any wallet in the future.

What are your thoughts about today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post The Daily: Bitcoin Enters Indian Politics, Blockchain Obsession Grows appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have one by one announced the shut down of their fiat deposits and withdrawals as banks start closing their accounts per RBI’s crypto banking ban. Meanwhile, they are trying to educate the central bank in hopes of easing the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban Going Ahead

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe Supreme Court of India heard a petition against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. However, it did not grant a stay on the ban. Instead, this petition, which was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), will be heard along with four other petitions on July 20.

RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges, starting on July 5. Without the stay by the Supreme Court, banks are likely to stop providing their services on July 5 per RBI’s order.

Shutting Down Fiat Support

One of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Zebpay, announced Wednesday:

Today we are disabling the rupee deposit and withdrawal options on the Zebpay app. This is being done in light of the bank account closures as per the RBI guideline…INR deposits and withdrawals have been paused in the Zebpay app until banks allow us again.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe exchange recently warned its customers that rupee deposits and withdrawals may become impossible if its bank accounts are disrupted. In the meantime, Zebpay noted that crypto deposits and withdrawals as well as “crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pair trading” continue to be supported.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAnother major Indian crypto exchange, Unocoin, issued a statement after the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday. Reiterating that the court “has refused to hear the plea for interim relief” and that “The [next] hearing is set for the 20th of July,” the exchange wrote:

Banking services are expected to be revoked this week…if you are withdrawing or depositing any rupees in Unocoin, there could be a time when we may not honour such requests.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanA smaller exchange, Coinome, stopped INR deposits at 11:59 PM on July 3. INR withdrawals will be discontinued on July 4 at 11:59 PM, the exchange advised its customers and requested them “not to Panic Sell. Your crypto assets will continue to retain value as per global markets.”

Pexo exchange also announced Wednesday that “We are closing the INR deposit and withdrawal request after 6 p.m. today as per the RBI guidelines. Requesting you all to withdraw your funds before the deadline.”

Banking Alternative/Extension

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanWazirx announced at the time of this writing that its “INR deposits & withdrawals are [still] working normally,” adding that “You don’t need to worry about cashing in/out of crypto as Wazirx P2P will help you cash in/out of crypto even after RBI ban.” The exchange recently announced the launch of its P2P trading service which will be live once banks stop providing services to the exchange.

Meanwhile, Pocketbits announced that its “INR deposits might not be available after 5th of July, but INR withdrawals will be available even after that. Users can Withdraw their INR anytime. Crypto Withdrawals and Deposits are always available without any restrictions.” The exchange clarified:

Our current banks have given us an extension to disburse all the funds, this does not mean we will have functioning bank accounts indefinitely. We will notify our users days in advance before the withdrawals are completely stopped.

Koinok, on the other hand, claimed at the time of this writing that “even after July 5, INR withdrawals will be available on Koinok and you will be able to withdraw your INR funds anytime.”

Exchanges Trying to Educate RBI

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAt the IAMAI petition hearing on Tuesday, the association submitted “a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com.

According to CNBC-Awaaz, the Supreme Court sent a notice to RBI during the hearing, asking the central bank to respond within 7 days. Shetty elaborated, “if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Unocoin emphasized on Wednesday:

We would like to let you know that this [RBI’s banking ban] is not a ban on cryptoassets and a policy in this regard is expected in the near future.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by exchanges in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of RBI’s action and how crypto exchanges are responding? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Unocoin, and Zebpay.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban – Effective in 2 Days

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 Days

The Indian Supreme Court heard one petition against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank today. However, the court did not grant a stay and the ban is set to proceed as planned, prompting crypto exchanges in the country to start implementing their solutions for banking alternatives.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

No Stay Granted by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India heard one petition against the crypto banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. This petition is by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) whose members include major crypto exchanges in the country such as Unocoin, Zebpay, and Wazirx.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysThe central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning all financial institutions under its control from servicing cryptocurrency companies. The ban is set to take effect on July 5. A number of industry participants have petitioned against the ban. Other than the petition by IAMAI, there are four other petitions which the Supreme Court will hear on July 20.

Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com after Tuesday’s hearing that the Supreme Court did not grant a stay on RBI’s crypto banking ban. The IAMAI petition will now be heard along with the rest of the petitions on July 20. “All eyes are on the 20th now,” he emphasized, elaborating:

The IAMAI had [also] submitted a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function. The RBI has said it will respond to that within 7 days….The representation was made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.

RBI’s Ban Effective July 5 – What Will Banks Do?

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, industry participants were hopeful that the court may grant a stay on the RBI ban. Nonetheless, major crypto exchanges in the country have been trying to find banking alternatives.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysWazirx is preparing to launch a P2P crypto transfer service to allow its customers to buy and sell crypto through its escrow service, bypassing the RBI ban. Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com that the new service will launch when banks stop providing services to crypto exchanges. He detailed:

If banks stop providing services after July 6th then we’ll need to launch P2P. All eyes are on banks now to see what they will do. Do they wait for the July 20th hearing or do they go ahead and implement the ban on transactions from July 6th onwards?

Crypto exchange Koinex is also preparing to launch their own P2P network called Loop. The exchange has already launched a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, as did Unocoin and Zebpay.

Unocoin’s CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, also told news.Bitcoin.com last week that his exchange is working on banking alternatives. “Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, our banking relationships are likely to be disrupted on or before July 5th, 2018. We are in the process of deploying new mechanisms for INR deposits and withdrawals,” his exchange announced.

What do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision today? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wazirx.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban – Effective in 2 Days appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services – Bypassing RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

With the impending banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India, cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are scrambling to find banking alternatives. Two Indian exchanges have announced that they are launching P2P crypto trading services which will allow traders to buy and sell crypto legally even after the central bank’s ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Wazirx’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanWith the banking ban by the central bank set to take effect on July 5, Indian crypto exchange Wazirx has been working on a solution for users to buy and sell crypto without needing a banking service.

The exchange announced last week that it is launching a P2P crypto transfer service which it claims to be “the most legal way to buy/sell cryptos in India after the RBI ban”. CEO Nischal Shetty described:

The buyer and seller can deal with each other directly while Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction so that neither party cheats the other.

Wazirx releases the crypto to the buyer upon receiving a confirmation from the seller, he noted. “We verify the KYC details of every user before allowing them to trade on Wazirx, and keep a record of each and every transaction that occurs on our exchange.”

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

Launched in March, Wazirx currently supports the trading of 37 cryptocurrencies against INR and 17 BTC trading pairs.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Shetty shared, “we have 35 coins listed in just 3 months of launch”. With over 100,000 users currently, he added that his exchange is the “fastest to list those many coins in India in such a short span of time.”

Planning for RBI’s Ban

The P2P trading service will launch once the RBI ban takes effect, Shetty explained. According to the central bank’s circular, the ban prohibiting banks from servicing crypto businesses will commence on July 5.

“We will launch it whenever banks completely stop providing their services to crypto exchanges…tentatively 6th July but we’ll need to wait and watch,” Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com, noting:

People have been worried about how they would convert their fiat (INR) to crypto and vice versa. As soon as we announced P2P there was a big sigh of relief as users in India realized there are alternatives to the ban.

Five known petitions have been filed with the courts against the RBI ban. The supreme court will hear all cases on July 20, except for one petition which was filed by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). This petition will be heard on July 3. “After considering the urgency, the supreme court decided to hear this one out on 3rd which is before the RBI deadline,” Shetty detailed. Wazirx is a member of this association as are some other major crypto exchanges such as Unocoin and Zebpay.

Koinex’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanAnother Indian crypto exchange, Koinex, also announced last week that it is launching Loop, “a peer-to-peer network for digital assets transactions using fiat currency”. The new service will be integrated into the Koinex web platform and the mobile app. Koinex users will automatically have access to it, co-founder Rahul Raj detailed, elaborating:

In conjunction with the crypto/crypto trading corridors on Koinex, the peer-to-peer transaction network will allow all users to exchange their fiat currency into a digital asset and vice versa without compromising on the seamless experience that they are used to.

What do you think of Indian exchanges launching P2P trading? Do you think RBI will find a way to stop this? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wazirx, Koinex, the Economic Times.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services – Bypassing RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban Begins

Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban Begins

The banking ban by India’s central bank is set to begin on July 5. One of the largest crypto exchanges in the country, Unocoin, is working on banking alternatives. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with the exchange’s CEO about what to expect when the ban begins, trader sentiment, and possible ways to bypass the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban Impending

Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban BeginsThe crypto banking ban mandated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to take effect on July 5, according to the central bank’s circular issued on April 6. There are five known petitions against the ban that the Supreme Court will hear on July 20, with one exception. The petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) will be heard on July 3.

One of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Unocoin, is a member of IAMAI, as are some other major crypto exchanges including Zebpay and Coinsecure.

Speaking with news.Bitcoin.com on Saturday, Unocoin’s CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, explained that the sentiment among Indian traders “is quite weaker than before.” He elaborated that banks would not support crypto exchanges’ customers “to send and receive INR as it would still violate the RBI policy which not only restricts entities but also individuals.” The CEO added:

All customers are expecting the exchanges to figure out the alternatives. Long term investors have not lost hopes…From the effective date [RBI’s ban], the businesses will have tough time till the alternative methods have been figured out.

Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban BeginsThe Bangalore-based crypto exchange, with about 370,000 unique users, recently launched a crypto-to-crypto trading platform called Unodax.

Several other crypto exchanges in India have similarly launched all-crypto platforms, including Zebpay and Koinex, with the hopes that investors will continue to trade cryptos even without banking support. However, Vishwanath revealed to news.Bitcoin.com:

The alternative revenue paths like crypto-to-crypto exchange do not have any traction in India as of now.

Unocoin Working on Banking Alternatives

Unocoin announced this week that it is working on banking alternatives for when the RBI ban takes effect. “Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’,” the exchange warned:

Our banking relationships are likely to be disrupted on or before July 5th, 2018. We are in the process of deploying new mechanisms for INR deposits and withdrawals.

The exchange also clarified, “This is not a small undertaking and it will take us some time to deploy new solutions.” Customers can still deposit and withdraw INR “through normal banking channels” until further notice. Vishwanath confirmed, “There are some third-party dependencies to be resolved before we can implement these [mechanisms].”

One Financial Institution Not Under RBI

One financial institution stands out as a possible banking alternative for crypto firms. Gangtok-based State Bank of Sikkim (SBS) is a lender that is not regulated by RBI and therefore is not affected by the ban.

Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban BeginsIn a reply to a right to information application filed by a New Delhi-based lawyer in April, the central bank wrote, “it may be noted that SBS was constituted in terms of the State Bank of Sikkim Proclamation, 1968. SBS is not licensed under Section 22(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by Reserve Bank of India. Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is not yet applicable to SBS,” Quartz reported.

However, Vishwanath told news.Bitcoin.com:

The [SBS] bank has made a strict internal policy that they do not want to support any crypto assets businesses. So for the time being this is out of the question.

What do you think will happen when the RBI ban takes effect? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange Shares What to Expect When RBI Ban Begins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI Ban

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI Ban

Leading Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay has added new cryptocurrencies to its crypto-to-crypto trading platform. The exchange now supports 19 cryptocurrencies and over 35 trading pairs, as it prepares for the banking ban by the country’s central bank to go into effect next week.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

19 Cryptocurrencies, 35+ Trading Pairs

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI BanOne of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Zebpay, announced Friday that it has added a number of cryptocurrencies to its crypto-to-crypto trading service. Zebpay claims to have over 3 million users.

The exchange launched its crypto-to-crypto trading service in late April with just one trading pair – ETH/BTC. In early May, it added six more markets, trading BTC against BCH, LTC, XRP, EOS, OMG, and TRX.

Then on Friday, June 29, Zebpay added 10 new crypto-to-crypto markets: NCASH, REP, BAT, ZRX, ZIL, GNT, VEN, KNC, CMT, and AE. The exchange wrote, “Zebpay announces the launch of 10 new crypto-to-crypto trading pairs. You can now trade 10 new tokens, supported by Zebpay, with BTC,” adding:

Now, trade 19 cryptocurrencies and 35+ trading pairs on Zebpay cryptocurrency exchange.

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI Ban
Zebpay’s list of supported cryptocurrencies in addition to BTC.

Ramping Up Crypto Trading Ahead of RBI Ban

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular that mandates all financial institutions under its control to stop servicing companies dealing in cryptocurrencies by July 5.

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI BanFollowing the circular, industry participants petitioned the Supreme Court, challenging the RBI ban. The Court originally scheduled the hearing date to July 20, two weeks after the ban is set to take effect, but reportedly decided to move that date to July 3. In the meantime, crypto exchanges in India are actively preparing to lose access to banking services.

Zebpay recently informed its customers that fiat deposits and withdrawals are likely to cease following the ban, advising them to make any necessary withdrawals beforehand. Following this announcement, all cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange experienced spikes in their trading volume as sell orders piled up.

Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI Ban
Zebpay’s BTC/INR trading chart for the period between June 21 and June 29.

Zebpay is not the only Indian exchange ramping up crypto-to-crypto trading ahead of RBI’s ban. Unocoin recently launched Unodax, a multi-crypto trading platform, offering the trading of 15 cryptocurrencies. The exchange has also launched an asset allocation tool called Crypto Basket. Another exchange in the country, Koinex, also offers crypto-to-crypto trading.

What do you think of Zebpay adding support for 19 cryptocurrencies ahead of the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, RBI, and Zebpay.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Exchange Zebpay Boosts Trading Support for 19 Cryptos Ahead of RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI

Cryptocurrency exchange Belfrics has resumed trading operations in India after halting earlier this year due to banks refusing to provide payments solutions to the exchange. Belfrics has also added four more cryptocurrencies to its platform, with 20 more planned for the next six months.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Belfrics Resumes Trading Operations in India

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIBelfrics, which claims to be “India’s fastest growing cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain development platforms,” announced on Tuesday that it has resumed trading operations in India. The exchange also said that it has added four new coins to its platform: bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ripple (XRP), and litecoin (LTC). Prior to the additions, only BTC trading was available. The company further unveiled its plan to launch 20 new cryptocurrencies in the next 6 months.

Jabeer KM, the COO of Belfrics Group, commented:

India is a key market for us when it comes to crypto trading. With the launch of these new coins we are targeting a base of at least 2,500,000 new traders on our platform by December 2018.

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIIn addition, the exchange has also launched “a dedicated app for live order-book trading of various altcoins.” The group’s Chief Innovation Officer, Santhosh Palavesh, explained that “traders can now securely link their assets with our Belfrics wallet…The new app will be available for both Android and iOS users.”

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Belfrics Group operates crypto exchanges in Malaysia, Singapore, Bahrain, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and India. The company has its development center in the Indian city of Bengaluru. Starting this month, traders can also enjoy crypto-to-crypto trading on its platform.

Problems with Banks and RBI Ban

Belfrics halted its crypto exchange operations in India in early January when the banks stopped providing payments solutions to the company, Inc42 described. Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, Belfrics Group’s founder and CEO, told the news outlet at the time that “Many payment service providers (PSP) [in India] have stopped giving services to [crypto] exchanges.”

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIIn April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular banning banks and financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies. “Before taking this decision, industry participants were not consulted, public debates were not initiated and public opinion polls were not undertaken. Even the findings of the committee were not published,” the CEO told Indian news service Ians. Recently, the central bank admitted that it issued the ban without proper research.

Regarding RBI’s ban, Jabeer KM elaborated in Tuesday’s announcement:

We understand that the RBI has reservations on trading in cryptocurrencies and digital currencies. But we are confident that they will be coming up with their own set of regulations for this industry. From our end, we are making sure that Belfrics Group is ready with multiple options for our Indian customers when crypto trading becomes regularized.

Since the RBI’s circular was issued, crypto industry participants have petitioned with the Supreme Court, challenging the ban. The Supreme Court reportedly agreed to hear the cases on July 3, earlier than the original date of July 20. The RBI ban is supposed to take effect on July 5. Meanwhile, the government plans to wrap up cryptocurrency regulations in the middle of next month.

What do you think of Belfrics resuming trading operations in India despite problems with banks and impending RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Belfrics.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

If you thought crypto in India was over, you were probably wrong. According to a recent statement by a high-ranking official, the long-awaited regulations are on the way. A draft framework has been prepared, and authorities in Delhi hope to “wrap this up” as early as the first half of next month. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to review a petition against the RBI ban earlier than expected, resetting the hearing for July 3.  

Also read: Taiwan’s Financial Regulator to Conduct Limited Oversight of Cryptocurrencies

Committee Decides the Fate of Bitcoin in India

The new Indian regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is likely to be presented in the first half of July, according to a recent statement by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance.

A draft has been put together and will be discussed in the first week of next month, the official said in an interview with the news channel ET Now. Garg, who is heading the committee tasked to determine the future of Bitcoin in India, explained:

We are fairly close to developing a kind of template which we think might be in the best interest of our country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July.

The Finance Ministry representative also noted that the committee has made a lot of progress in regards to determining “what part of business should be banned, what should be preserved, and what not.” In his words, the lower detail work has already happened. “We should be in the position to wrap this up in the first fortnight of July,” he elaborated.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Assets, Not Currencies, Still Valuable for Some

In previous comments, Mr. Garg said the Indian government “does not read this [cryptocurrency] as currency” and would not allow its use in the country’s payment system. This, he explained, means the executive power “would do something to eliminate” the illegal use of “crypto assets.” Nevertheless, he recognized that some people may still find value in cryptocurrencies and that would require introducing certain regulations so that crypto transactions are legal and transparent. Earlier reports that the roles of regulators had been decided and that the new rules were coming soon were not confirmed by concrete actions.

Subhash Garg also noted that cryptocurrency exchanges in India are not regulated and indicated that the upcoming regulations would introduce legal requirements for know your customer procedures and record keeping for transactions. In February, he expressed hope that his committee would finalize its recommendations within this financial year. Then, legal changes would have to be made and regulatory responsibilities assigned. Indian media points out, however, that the panel headed by Garg is the second body formed to come up with a solution, after the first committee failed to complete the task.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian authorities have been sending mixed signals about the future of cryptocurrencies, along with issuing warnings and applying restrictive administrative measures. In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the official position that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and said the government will crack down on their use for illegal activities. Since then, the Income Tax Department has issued notices to thousands of crypto investors accusing them of tax evasion. For its part, the Reserve Bank of India ordered all regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to businesses and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, there are voices within the Indian government that insist Bitcoin has its place in India.

Supreme Court Resets Hearing Date to July 3

The RBI gave commercial banks three months to comply with its directive formally motivated with the need to protect consumers and prevent money laundering. Recently, the central bank admitted it had done no proper research into cryptocurrencies before issuing its circular. In the past few weeks, local exchanges have been preparing for the ban by terminating fiat deposits and withdrawals while launching and expanding crypto-to-crypto trading.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official RevealsA number of Indian crypto companies filed petitions against the restrictions that eventually reached the Supreme Court, which barred all other courts from accepting new petitions. The hearing was initially set for July 20, two weeks after the RBI comes into effect, on July 5, which triggered protests by the members of the country’s crypto community.

One of the companies that has filed a petition challenging RBI’s measures is the operator of the Indian exchange Coinrecoil, Kali Digital Eco-Systems. Its co-founder and director, Kunal Barchha, told news.Bitcoin.com that the Supreme Court has rescheduled the hearing for an earlier date on request by one of the other petitioners – the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The review is now set to take place on July 3, before the enforcement of the ban. Mr. Barchha also said that Coinrecoil’s lawyer will file a similar request on July 2 and he expects the court to honor it.

Do you think Indian authorities will eventually adopt looser regulations on cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions? Share your expectations in the comments section below.   


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have followed the Supreme Court’s suggestion for them to present their cases to the Reserve Bank of India. They have sent letters to the central bank, offering alternatives to the RBI’s banking ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Supreme Court’s Suggestion

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have reportedly sent their pleas to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as directed by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives
Indian Supreme Court.

The central bank mandated in April that all financial institutions under its control must stop servicing cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related businesses within three months. Some crypto exchanges subsequently took the RBI to court; their writ petitions were passed to the Supreme Court.

The country’s top court decided to hear all the petitions against the RBI ban on July 20 and ordered concerned parties to engage with the central bank to consider their requests. The Supreme Court “allowed cryptocurrency exchanges, their shareholders, traders and other individuals to present their cases within two weeks to the RBI, which will look into the issue in accordance with the law,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Quartz elaborated:

The supreme court suggested that these exchanges can engage with the RBI. So, last week, a clutch of such firms sent out letters making their case against the banking regulator’s prohibitory order.

Crypto Firms’ Requests

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesVarious suggestions were presented to the RBI. According to the news outlet, some of “the bitcoin exchanges have requested the RBI to remove the blanket ban, saying the regulator should instead enforce it only on firms violating the norms.”

A petitioner explained to the publication, “we have also suggested measures that we are ready to take to improve the KYC-AML [Know Your Customer – Anti-Money Laundering] norms, such as including passport details as well. We are also ready to take any suggestion that the regulator has to offer that can address their concerns.”

Anirudh Rastogi, TRA Law’s managing partner who filed the supreme court petition representing four exchanges, told the news outlet:

A ban is counter-productive, therefore, we have suggested that there should be appropriate regulations that can address the government or the central bank’s concerns.

“Other firms have asked for an extension on the deadline,” the publication wrote, adding that it has reviewed an application submitted by Kali Digital Eco-systems Private Limited to the RBI. The document states that “considering the next date of the hearing in the supreme court is after July 06, 2018,” the firm requests the central bank “to extend the time of three months granted in the captioned circular to at least Aug. 31, 2018.”

Coping with RBI Ban

Five writ petitions have been filed, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Last month, the Supreme Court mandated that no other courts shall accept any more crypto-related petitions and all existing ones were transferred to the Supreme Court.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesIn anticipation of the RBI order taking effect, crypto exchanges in the country are increasingly moving away from fiat, creating crypto-to-crypto trading platforms. Unocoin launched a new trading platform with 15 cryptocurrencies last week. Zebpay and Koinex have both launched crypto-to-crypto exchanges.

Currently, the Indian government is working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. It has set up a committee under Subhash Garg, the secretary of economic affairs in the finance ministry, to prepare a draft crypto law.

Do you think the RBI will reconsider the ban and accommodate the requests of crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Police Forces Bust Alleged “New Age Cryptocurrency” Scam in India

Police Forces Bust Alleged “New Age Cryptocurrency” Scam in India

Police in the Indian city of Thane have raided the offices of an alleged multi-million cryptocurrency scam on Monday. According to its promoters, Money Trade Coin (MTC) “provides a safer, more secure and superior alternative of storing wealth in the form of digital currency, to investors as well as commoners.” Investigators, however, accuse it of being a front for an international fraud, misleading investors with promises of high returns, real estate and foreign passports.

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Rule World

New Age Cryptocurrency

Police Forces Bust Alleged “New Age Cryptocurrency” Scam in IndiaOn its website MTC is described as intellectual property jointly owned by Dubai based firm Bitcoin Global FZE, UAE and Money Trade Coin Ltd, UK. And Mr. Amit M. Lakhanpal is said to be the Director of Money Trade Coin Ltd (and one of the key members of Bitcoin Global FZE and MD of Flintstone Group, India). While two people were detained on Monday, Lakhanpal is reportedly still at large and the police believe he may have fled India.

Flintstone’s Thane office reportedly had twenty employees, while another office in the Mumbai suburb of Vikhroli had a staff of fifty. The investigation started after a local businessman complained that he and his colleagues were not able to get a response from the company about their invested funds.

Police, Bollywood and Politicians

Police Forces Bust Alleged “New Age Cryptocurrency” Scam in IndiaThe police said Lakhanpal’s office showcased photos of him with “leading political personalities” used to impress his alleged victims. Additionally, “He may have even invested in a Bollywood film featuring a major male star, but we are verifying this.” A senior officer even told the Hindustan Times that some members of the police were allegedly involved with MTC and their involvement is being investigated.

“Pal and his associates promised investors a 20-times return on investment in a mere six months. But once the deadline passed, the company made several excused to not release the money,” the officer said. “A few days ago, some investors even went to Dubai to meet Lakhanpal, but they were allegedly threatened, and were told that they should not ask for their money. We also found that Lakhanpal had never constructed any building, even though he claimed to run a real estate company.”

What do you think is the true story behind MTC? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, MoneyTradeCoin.


Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post Police Forces Bust Alleged “New Age Cryptocurrency” Scam in India appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

The government of India is reportedly considering levying a type of consumption tax on cryptocurrency trading and even mining. The most grievous part of this proposal is that it may also be a retroactive measure, demanding payments for past actions.

Also Read: Economics Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller Examines Bitcoin in Historical Context

Crypto Sales Tax

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, MiningThe Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs is working on a proposal to impose an 18% tax on cryptocurrencies. The proposal will be considered by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council once it will finalized, “people with direct knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg.

According to the proposal: “Purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies should be considered as supply of goods, and those facilitating transactions like supply, transfer, storage, accounting, among others, will be treated as services; Value of a cryptocurrency may be determined based on the transaction value in rupees or the equivalent of any freely convertible foreign currency; If buyers and sellers are in India, the transaction would be treated as a supply of software and the buyer’s location will be the place of supply. For transfer and sale, the location of the registered person will be the place of supply. However, for sale to non-registered persons, location of the supplier would be considered as the place of supply. Transactions beyond the Indian territory will be liable for integrated GST, and would be considered as import or export of goods. IGST will be levied on cross-border supplies.”

Further according to the proposal, mining will be classified as a supply of service and Indian miners will have to pay taxes on any fees and rewards they make. Additionally, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers and some miners (those making over Rs 20 lakh) will have to register under the GST.

Retroactive Tax

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, MiningIndia’s GST came into effect on 1st July 2017, replacing many former indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments as a measure to streamline the tax code. The Indian government is now considering that the tax on crypto will be applied retroactively since the start of the GST system, according to the same anonymous sources cited above. The meaning of this is that people will have to pay for actions they took about a year or so before the new policy, assuming it will be decided on in a couple of months.

If this tax proposal will be accepted, the retroactive aspect of it is the most likely to be challenged by traders and exchanges in the courts. Indian crypto businesses have already had to turn to the courts in the matter of the ban on banks from dealing with them, a matter that is now being handled by the country’s supreme court.

Is a retroactive tax on cryptocurrencies really feasible? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture

The upcoming implementation of a major regulatory push by the European Union to control how companies can operate on the Internet has killed another venture in the cryptocurrency sphere. This story, astrology-based financial investment, and many more feature in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.

Also Read: Marvel, The Simpsons Go Crypto

Parity Shuts Down ICO Passport Service

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto VentureThe team behind Parity Technologies, the developers of the Parity multi-signature wallet, have announced they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with KYC/AML regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check. The reason for the closure is a new EU dictate called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is meant to bring a new set of “digital rights” for EU citizens and guard their personal data. The regulation that will come into force this Friday has already killed other services in the crypto space such as the P2P exchange Cointouch and has forced others to change the way they do business such as Localbitcoins.

The Parity team explained that: “GDPR creates new and untested challenges when storing personal information on the blockchain. These challenges make running a service like PICOPS more difficult. We are looking at ways of resolving the uncertainty and making PICOPS compliant with GDPR while keeping it useful. However, as things stand, the solutions we have identified restrict the service to a very limited set of features. Because of this, the significant resources required to make PICOPS GDPR-compliant, and the fact that PICOPS is not part of our core technology stack, we have decided to discontinue the service, despite overwhelming market needs and demand.”

Indian Ban Case Shifts to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India has taken over the cases of Coin Recoil and others challenging the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on local banks from dealing with bitcoin companies. The next hearing of this now combined case is planned for July 20, 2018.

Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner at Khaitan & Co., commented: “The Supreme Court has recently transferred the entire batch of petitions pending at High Court level with respect to the contentious issue of RBI effectively banning transactions in cryptocurrencies. This decision highlights the importance of this issue at a national level from not just a legal, but also an economic standpoint. We strongly believe that the RBI’s circular to effectively discourage the business of cryptocurrency exchanges is an arbitrary decision against the freedom of the right to trade guaranteed by the Constitution. We are hopeful that justice will be meted out at the Supreme Court level.”

Written in the Stars

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto VentureAstrology-based financial investment is apparently a thing, and many practitioners are using it to navigate the tumultuous seas of the cryptocurrency markets. This is according to a Marketwatch report that cited a number of astro-investors and even a professional astro-analyst talking about the practice as well as their predictions.

This matter came into the forefront recently after ex-NFL star Ricky Williams shared his use of the of study of celestial objects with CNBC. “When I look at things, I tend to look at astrology to get insight. The insight that got me interested in Bitcoin was the planet Uranus is about to enter into Taurus,” he explained.

Roboforex to Compete with Wallets

Roboforex, an IFSC (International Financial Services Commission of Belize) licensed financial firm offering crypto CFDs, has introduced a new service for its clients to buy BTC with fiat directly from the broker. The company believes that its regulated status will convince users to use their accounts over existing wallets.

Denis Golomedov, Chief Marketing Officer at Roboforex, said: “Providing the ability for clients to deposit into their accounts in Bitcoin is not only an additional service, which expands clients’ opportunities, but also a standalone product, which significantly dominates over its market counterparts. Security has become very significant issue recently, as more and more information appears about hacking cryptocurrency exchanges and stealing users’ assets. Using the cryptocurrency is much more convenient and safer for clients within the framework of their trading and investment activities, using products and services provided by a regulated broker”.

What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post Bitcoin in Brief Monday: New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture appeared first on Bitcoin News.

5,000 Developers in India Ready to Work on Crypto Projects

5,000 Developers in India Ready to Work on Crypto Projects

According to a recent study, 5,000 Indian software developers currently have the skill sets to work on cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. 10,000 more developers can be easily trained but an additional 30,000 would require extensive training.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

5,000 Developers Qualified

A recent study by HR company Belong shows that, out of an estimated two million software developers in India, about 0.25% of them have the skills to work on cryptocurrency and blockchain projects, the Times of India reported this week. The study was conducted on two million software developers over the last year. The company found that only 5,000 of them have the necessary combination of skills such as “data science, algorithms and cryptography” to be qualified to work with cryptocurrencies or blockchains.

5,000 Developers in India Ready to Work on Crypto ProjectsBelong co-founder Rishabh Kaul asserted that “India does have the potential to train another 10,000 developers” with prior experience in the fintech industry so that they are equipped with the proper skill sets to work on cryptocurrency projects. However, he noted that another 30,000 software developers who have worked “in back-end tech roles” still “require extensive training and upskilling” before they have the proper skill sets to work as blockchain experts on crypto projects.

However, companies are facing challenges in finding qualified developers, Belong’s study revealed. Kaul explained that the demand for developers with the right skill sets needed for projects related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is expected to grow further, adding that:

Developers must essentially have skills in data science, algorithms and cryptography to work on such platforms.

Popular Demand

5,000 Developers in India Ready to Work on Crypto ProjectsThe number of companies looking to enter the cryptocurrency space is increasing. Burning Glass Technologies wrote in October last year that “because of its connection with ‘cryptocurrencies,’ blockchain is associated with finance, and major banks like Liberty Mutual, Capital One, and Bank of America have posted openings.”

Earlier this month, freelance employment website Upwork released its Q1 2018 skills index. “The Upwork Skills Index ranks the site’s 20 fastest-growing skills in a quarterly series that sheds light on new and emerging skills as an indication of hot freelance job market trends,” the company described. Blockchain tops the top 20 fastest-growing skills in the time period, the company detailed, adding:

Its growth exceeded 2,000% for three quarters in a row on Upwork.com, and in Q1 it experienced more than 6,000% year-over-year growth, making it the fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 skills on the site.

What do you think of the number of qualified Indian developers? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post 5,000 Developers in India Ready to Work on Crypto Projects appeared first on Bitcoin News.

RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India’s Cryptocurrency Industry

RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India's Cryptocurrency Industry

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s prohibitive policies regarding India’s cryptocurrency industry has reportedly comprised the catalyst for a migration of Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneurs in search of more amenable regulations.

Also Read: Indian Ponzi Scheme-Funded Cryptocurrency Mine Raided by Police

RBI Crackdown Drives Crypto Businesses Overseas

RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India's Cryptocurrency IndustryThe crackdown on cryptocurrencies initiated by the RBI has reportedly comprised a catalyst for the migration of numerous Indian cryptocurrency companies and ICOs seeking favorable regulatory jurisdictions.

With India’s banking sector prohibited from providing financial services to businesses dealing in cryptocurrencies, many of India’s crypto companies have been left with no choice but to relocate overseas.

Estonian E-Residency Program Attracts Indian Crypto Entrepreneurs

RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India's Cryptocurrency IndustryAccording to a report by Factor Daily, Estonia has emerged as a popular destination among Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014, Estonia’s e-residency programme provides a simple avenue through which companies can become based in the eastern-European nation. Estonia also offers favorable taxation and regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies.

Nilesh Trivedi, the founder of Indium, is currently completing his e-residency application for Estonia Mr. Trivedi states that he would “ideally like to diversify from India given the way things are moving here in regard to cryptocurrency and the blockchain space. It’s too uncertain.”

Mr. Trivedi states that the e-residency “will just cost me 100 Euros for three years and I can renew it again after that,” adding that “the tax regime there is good.” Mr. Trivedi also notes that “Being registered [in Estonia] will also allow [him] to offer other services and conduct business in the EU.”

Analysts Warn of ‘Crypto Brain-Drain’

RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India's Cryptocurrency IndustryJoel John, an analyst at Outlier Ventures, has warned that the RBI’s prohibitive policy regarding cryptocurrency companies risks creating a brain-drain among India’s cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists.

Mr. John stated “We are having talented people and companies from the blockchain space move out of India. There are enough countries out there who realize the importance and want to take a lead in the blockchain ecosystem.” Mr. John added that “Companies moving abroad is not a new trend but the regulatory complexities faced by blockchain companies have accelerated [the trend].”

A number of other jurisdictions perceived to be hubs of innovation within the cryptocurrency and finance sectors have also been cited as popular destinations among India’s migrating crypto industry, including Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

Do you agree that the RBI’s policies will lead to a ‘brain-drain’ among professionals specializing in the breakthrough industries of cryptocurrency and blockchain? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post RBI Crackdown Triggers Migration of India’s Cryptocurrency Industry appeared first on Bitcoin News.