Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

India’s Supreme Court heard the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today. After hearing some arguments from both sides, the court decided to set another hearing date, allowing some of the regulators involved to respond to the petitions.

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

Supreme Court Hearing on July 20

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThe long-awaited hearing at which the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to address all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank has finally taken place.

Today’s hearing follows the hearing on July 3 of the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The court did not grant a stay against the ban at that time. Last week, the central bank responded to a representation by the association but did not change its stance on crypto.

The latest chapter of the courtroom saga did not see an overturn of the ban. The court also did not hear all arguments by both sides. Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in crypto regulatory analysis, legal awareness and news, detailed:

Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today.

Another Hearing Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThere are at least five writ petitions filed against the RBI ban. However, according to Crypto Kanoon, “SEBI [the Securities and Exchange Board of India] and few others have not filed their response to the petition seeking regulation…All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks.”

Sohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, the central bank has been challenged on two grounds. They concern article 19(1) (g) and article 14 of the Indian constitution. The former “allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business,” Quartz explained, adding that the latter “prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.”

P2P Services Live

In response to the RBI banking ban, a number of crypto exchanges in the country have set up peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysKoinex launched its P2P platform called Loop on July 17. “Loop is a peer-to-peer fiat to crypto trading platform where registered users can trade in cryptos with other registered users in INR,” the exchange described.

“To ensure user safety, a built-in escrow system is employed which releases the cryptocurrency only after the seller double confirms the exact payment of the trade.” According to its website, the service currently offers the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and XRP without network or transaction fees.

Last week, Wazirx launched its P2P service, also without network or transaction fees. The exchange recently claimed to have 125,000 users on its main platform after operating for four months. Meanwhile, Coindelta is also preparing to launch a P2P service called Flux.

What do you think of the Supreme Court hearing today? Do you think RBI’s ban will eventually be lifted? 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 Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays 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.

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.

India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Cryptocurrency Banking Ban

In a ruling today, India’s highest court of law refused to grant any temporary respite against the central bank’s ban on banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges. On April 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – the country’s central bank – issued a circular to all regulated financial institutions including banks to prohibit them from … Continued

The post India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Cryptocurrency Banking Ban appeared first on CCN

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.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht’s Life Sentence

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence

On June 28, 2018, the US Supreme Court revealed it would not re-evaluate Ross Ulbricht’s court case and double life sentence tied to his charges of operating the Silk Road marketplace. Ulbricht’s legal team and family were hoping the recent Carpenter Vs. US Supreme Court case would spur court officials to reconsider the Ulbricht’s conviction. However, Supreme Court officials didn’t see eye to eye with this reasoning and denied Ulbricht’s cert petition.

Also read: Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation

SCOTUS Denies Ross Ulbricht’s Cert Petition

Just recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Ross Ulbricht case and the convicted Silk Road operator’s cert petition filed with the Supreme Court this past May. According to Ulbricht’s lawyers, out of 200 cases that day, the court justices denied all of them except for the case Carpenter Vs. the US, and Ross Ulbricht’s petition. Lawyers had thought the implications of the Carpenter case, which applies to warrantless cellphone searches, would help Ross’s appeal. Six days ago, the American public learned that the Supreme Court sided with Carpenter’s arguments and ruled law enforcement cannot access cell phone information without a warrant.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence
Ross Ulbricht before he was arrested.

One week later, the Supreme Court came to its decision concerning Ulbricht’s case and decided not to re-evaluate the hearing and sentencing. Of course, the Ulbricht family is not pleased with the decision and in a heartbreaking tweet the organization Freeross.org stated:  

SCOTUS denied Ross Ulbricht cert petition this morning after holding it pending Carpenter. This is a NO on internet privacy and Ross’s case. Devastating. #freeross.    

Furthermore, Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross Ulbricht who has been championing for his freedom since the day he was arrested, made this statement:   

This is devastating news for Ross and our family.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence
Lyn Ulbricht tells the press the family is “devastated” by the decision.

The Surveillance State and Illusionary Freedoms

To many supporters, the denial was an injustice, especially after the Carpenter Vs. the US ruling. Many people believe, alongside Ulbricht’s family and attorneys, that Ulbricht’s fourth amendment and other amendment rights were taken from him. Moreover, a double life sentence for operating a website is considered extremely harsh as many other criminals have received less severe punishments for more heinous crimes.

“It is hard to imagine a better example of the consequences of runaway judicial fact-finding than this case,” explains Ulbricht’s cert petition.  

Petitioner, a young man with no criminal history, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for drug crimes that do not ordinarily carry that sentence, based substantially on numerous factual findings made by the sentencing judge by a preponderance of the evidence.

Even though activists have lauded the SCOTUS decision towards Carpenter, with Ulbricht’s case there has been an extreme injustice in the eyes of many. It means that there may be laws against law enforcement committing illegal acts like warrantless searches. But unfortunately, when it comes to reality and cases like Ulbricht’s, it further solidifies the feeling that American freedoms are illusionary.

What do you think about the Supreme Court denying Ross Ulbricht’s petition after the Carpenter Vs. US decision? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay.


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

The post Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht’s Life Sentence appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Breaking: Supreme Court Denies Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Petition to Review Life Sentence

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Ross Ulbricht’s petition for writ of certiorari, preventing the Silk Road operator from appealing his life sentence before the high court. The Court on Thursday included Ulbricht v. United States in a list of 19 certiorari denied by the court, apparently bringing Ulbricht’s legal saga to what supporters have … Continued

The post Breaking: Supreme Court Denies Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Petition to Review Life Sentence appeared first on CCN

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.

Bitcoin Makes Historic First Appearance in US Supreme Court Opinion

Thursday marked a historic day for bitcoin, as the flagship cryptocurrency made its first appearance in an opinion published by the US Supreme Court. The case, Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, did not involve bitcoin’s regulatory or legal status. Rather, it examined whether employee stock options represent taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax … Continued

The post Bitcoin Makes Historic First Appearance in US Supreme Court Opinion appeared first on CCN

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.

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website

Russian Court Cancels Decision to Block Bitcoin Website

A Russian court has overturned a previous court decision to block a bitcoin-related website because it contains information about cryptocurrencies. The Supreme Court ordered the city court to hear the appeal.

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

Russian Court Overturned Previous Decision

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website
St. Petersburg City Court.

The St. Petersburg City Court has overturned the ruling of the Vyborgsky District Court of St. Petersburg to block the Bitcoininfo.ru website in Russia.

“The St. Petersburg City Court quashed the decision of the district court to recognize the information posted on the Bitcoininfo.ru website,” Tass reported the city court explaining on Monday, June 4.

“Vyborg District Court of St. Petersburg will again consider the case of the blocking of the site on cryptocurrencies, www.bitcoininfo.ru,” Rapsi learned from the city court, adding:

The city court canceled the decision to block the site and sent the case [back] to the Vyborgsky District Court for a new hearing.

Problem With Spreading Crypto Information

This case began in July 2016 when the St. Petersburg Vyborgsky District Court made the ruling to block the Bitcoininfo.ru website in absence of the site owner. The court “considered the statement of the prosecutor’s office that the site contains information about cryptocurrencies” and decided to block the site, the publication detailed.

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin WebsiteAccording to the case file, Tass explained that the prosecutor’s office demanded the site be blocked based on its content about cryptocurrencies that “do not lend themselves to state control,” “promote the growth of the shadow economy,” and “do not have certain consumer properties.”

The representative of the website’s owner, Sarkis Darbinyan, told the publication that the prosecutor’s actions “takes place without the involvement of site owners,” adding that none of them received “requests for the removal of prohibited information, and the city court refuses to accept appeals after the actual blocking of websites.”

He further detailed:

According to the statements of the prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg, about 100 sites devoted to cryptocurrencies have been blocked.

The domain administrator appealed against the court’s decision, believing it to be illegal. However, the city court did not consider his appeal so he appealed to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, which subsequently ordered the city court to consider his complaint.

In March, the St. Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 bitcoin-related websites offering information about cryptocurrencies and exchange services in Russia, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Do you think bitcoin websites will finally be unblocked in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wikimedia.


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

The post Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Korean Government Clarifies Position After Supreme Court Crypto Ruling

Korean Government Clarifies Position After Supreme Court Crypto Ruling

The South Korean government has clarified its position in response to the recent ruling by the country’s Supreme Court stating that cryptocurrency is an asset with measurable value that can be confiscated. The government says its position should be viewed separately from that of the Supreme Court.

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

Korean Government’s Response

Korean Government Clarifies Position After Supreme Court Crypto RulingSouth Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), has responded to the ruling by the country’s Supreme Court recognizing cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as assets, according to local media.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, May 30, that cryptocurrencies are assets that can be confiscated as criminal proceeds. The case involves a porn site operator and his 191 BTC. This decision represents the first time the Court has recognized cryptocurrency as property.

The head of the FSC’s cryptocurrency countermeasures committee, Hong Sung-ki, was quoted by Aktv clarifying:

The judgment of the Supreme Court and the position of government policy should be viewed separately.

Not Financial Assets, No Change in Regulations

On Thursday, May 31, FSC chairman Choi Jong-gu attended the 6th anniversary Youth Banking Foundation event in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Commenting on the Supreme Court’s judgment, Sporbiz quoted him emphasizing:

The Supreme Court recognizing asset value and whether virtual currency is a financial product…is a separate issue.

Korean Government Clarifies Position After Supreme Court Crypto RulingThe Minister of Strategy and Finance, Kim Dong-yeon, was quoted by the publication confirming that “Virtual currencies such as bitcoin are not financial assets.”

While the FSC was quoted by Zdnet Korea admitting that “It can be said that there is property value,” the Commission insists that as for crypto regulations, “There is no change at all.”

Moreover, the financial regulator revealed, “We will closely examine the trends in the discussion of international cryptocurrency regulations such as the G20, and examine the institutionalization in Korea.” The FSC further noted that regarding “illegal acts related to virtual currency transactions such as money laundering,” the government “will respond seriously.”

Divided Opinions

Commenting on both the Supreme Court’s decision and the FSC’s response, an official of the Korean Blockchain Industry Association was quoted by Fnnews saying that it is a good judgment of the Court to recognize “the economic value of bitcoin,” adding:

The government and the National Assembly should pay attention to the ruling of the Supreme Court and plan a policy to incorporate cryptocurrency transactions into the system as soon as possible.

The association is currently working with the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bithumb and Upbit, to enforce self-regulation. Self-assessment is being conducted by the exchanges under the guidance of the association.

Do you think the South Korean government should pay more attention to the Supreme Court’s ruling? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Newsis.


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

The post Korean Government Clarifies Position After Supreme Court Crypto Ruling appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Korean Supreme Court Rules Cryptocurrency Is Asset With Economic Value

Korean Supreme Court Rules Cryptocurrency Is Asset With Economic Value

The South Korean Supreme Court has ruled that cryptocurrency is an asset with economic value that can be confiscated. In the case involving a porn site and 191 confiscated BTC, the country’s top court upheld a district court’s ruling.

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

Supreme Court Has Ruled

Korean Supreme Court Rules Cryptocurrency Is Asset With Economic Value
Supreme Court of South Korea.

South Korea’s top court ruled on Wednesday that the government could confiscate cryptocurrencies as crime profits since they are assets with economic value.

The case involves Ahn, who operated an online porn site, and his 191 BTC that the prosecution confiscated, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. “This marks the first time a cryptocurrency has been subject to confiscation,” the Korea Times wrote.

With Wednesday’s ruling, “The Supreme Court recognized cryptocurrency as an ‘asset with measurable value,’” the publication detailed and quoted the Court stating:

The cryptocurrency is recognized to have value so it can be confiscated.

191 BTC Confiscated

“From 2013, Ahn distributed 235,000 obscene pictures online and made 1.9 billion won,” the news outlet described, adding that he “was arrested and indicted in May 2017 for violating the Protection of Children and Juveniles From Sexual Abuse Law.” Ahn was subsequently “sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 696 million won by a lower court, confirmed by both a high court and the Supreme Court.”

Korean Supreme Court Rules Cryptocurrency Is Asset With Economic ValueWhen Ahn was arrested, the prosecution seized his 216 BTC, claiming that they “were earned illegally and urged they be seized as cyber assets,” the publication conveyed. However, a lower court ruled against them, “stating bitcoins only existed electronically and had no physical form.”

The prosecutors then appealed to a high court which “ruled in the prosecution’s favor, saying the cyber assets could be seen as profit earned from the trade in goods.” The high court ruled that 191 of “bitcoins [seized] were earned from the proceeds of crime,” and ordered them to be confiscated. At the time of this writing, this amount of BTC is worth over $1.4 million.

The publication quoted the high court explaining at the time:

If we return the bitcoins to Ahn, it will be giving him back profits that were earned illegally from running an online porn site.

“The Supreme Court upheld this ruling,” the news outlet reiterated, adding that this “will allow any cyber assets gained from illegal activity such as gambling, drug deals, pornography and prostitution to be confiscated.”

What do you think of the Korean Supreme Court’s ruling? 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 Korean Supreme Court Rules Cryptocurrency Is Asset With Economic Value appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Institute for Justice (IJ) bills itself as the national law firm for liberty. IJ works to slow the growth of government in the US in all its forms: economic freedom, education, private property, freedom of speech, not to mention amicus briefs to the Supreme Court. Now bitcoiners can help support IJ’s valuable work, a real world use case, through Bitpay and bitcoin cash (BCH).

Also read: Roger Ver and Ryan X. Charles Reveal the Future of Cash

Freedom, a Use Case for Bitcoin Cash

This year started very well for The Institute for Justice, a national law firm taking the terribly unsexy cases where government encroachment upon average folk goes largely unnoticed. The venerable Pineapple Fund donated to “only 58 charities so far selected to receive a grant,” including the IJ. In response to the January notice of receiving a grant, the Institute noted it would use the money to “help us defend and secure the rights of hundreds of thousands of people like those you will read about in this issue of Liberty & Law, protecting them from government abuse and enabling them to live as free and responsible individuals.”

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Pineapple Fund was a foundation of sorts lasting less than half a year. Started by a bitcoin core (BTC) whale, it garnered widespread praise in the cryptocurrency ecosystem for promoting the idea at least some of the recent years’ gains ought to be set aside for causes working for a brighter future. And it became yet another connection between crypto and the Institute for Justice.

A Thirty Year History Meets Money’s Future

In fact, the IJ has come to terms with crypto payment provider Bitpay, allowing supporters to donate in bitcoin cash (BCH) as well. The higher fees and lag times of bitcoin core (BTC) made it less hospitable toward microtransactions such as lower-level giving. A hundred bucks worth here, twenty there, were simply eaten alive by transaction costs. A much better match, at the moment, is BCH for those very reasons. And all donations are tax deductible.

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Supporting work of the sort IJ does is something crypto enthusiasts can feel good about. A cursory gloss over the cases during their near 30 year history is proof enough. Eminent domain, whereby governments bully property owners into selling, or worse, under the rubric of the ‘greater good’ are causes rarely heard by other groups. IJ regularly fights them.

Crypto fans are especially sensitive about the subject of licensing and certification, as they’re often frictions and barriers to entry into the polite, proper economy — something enthusiasts can empathize with. The IJ is a lone advocate in this regard, making sure those who wish to simply offer a nice meal or a haircut are protected from petty bureaucrats. The IJ is also keen on providing support for landmark cases via amicus briefs, as in the case of Carpenter v. United States. The Carpenter case deals with the 4th Amendment violations and may be instrumental towards the pending Ross Ulbricht Supreme Court petition as well.  

For the BCH Gang, giving to important causes is yet another perk of decentralized cash. Groups such as EatBCH are “collecting bitcoin cash donations for the past few months and have been using the funds to purchase food and feed Venezuelans who are in need of assistance. Nearly every single day for over three months the group’s Twitter handle shows pictures of children and adults getting all kinds of food — and it’s all paid for with bitcoin cash,” these pages reported. The Institute for Justice is yet another use case.

Do you donate crypto? Is it a good way to spread adoption? Tell us in the comments below! 


Images via Shutterstock and Pixabay.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Ross Ulbricht Continues to Fight for Freedom With Supreme Court Petition

Ross Ulbricht Continues to Fight for Freedom With Supreme Court Petition

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on Ross Ulbricht being denied a post-conviction relief extension this past February. Since then Ulbricht’s new legal team and his family continue to fight for Ross’s freedom with a filed a Petition of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

Also read: BCH Miners Discuss Funding Development With a Fraction of Block Rewards

The Fight to Free Ross Ulbricht Continues With a Petition of Certiorari

Ross William Ulbricht is a 33-year old American who was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering, and computer hacking crimes tied to the Silk Road website created in 2011. Ulbricht was accused of being the creator of the Silk Road under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” and was arrested in 2013. In 2015 Ulbricht was convicted of the aforementioned charges and sentenced to life in prison. The family has been fighting for their son’s freedom for years due to the fact that there were many investigation discrepancies, and government agents who were caught red-handed manipulating the case. However, last year the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the decision to keep Ulbricht in jail for life.

Then this year Ulbricht’s new legal team, Williams & Connolly, tried to extend a fixed three year period with a motion called “Rule 33.” Although, the extension was not granted, and Judge Forrest denied the motion to extend the time for a Rule 33. The latest Petition of Certiorari with the Supreme Court argues two very important questions tethered to Ulbricht’s case.

  • Whether the warrantless seizure of an individual’s Internet traffic information without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment.
  • Whether the Sixth Amendment is violated when a judge uses uncharged allegations, never brought to trial before a jury, to support an excessive sentence.          
Ross Ulbricht Continues to Fight for Freedom With Supreme Court Petition
Ulbricht’s Petition of Certiorari can be read here.

Another Fourth Amendment Case May Determine the Fate of Ulbricht’s Latest Petition

Ross Ulbricht Continues to Fight for Freedom With Supreme Court Petition
USP Florence Maximum Security Prison – September 2017

Additionally, the team at Freeross.org explain that twenty-one organizations have supported the petition and it was distributed for conference on April 13. Out of all the cases, that day 200 were denied except for Ulbricht’s case and another called Carpenter v. U.S. Ulbricht’s legal team believes the outcome of the Fourth Amendment Carpenter case will affect Ross’s petition conference. Freeross.org explains that the legal team may find out how the court’s rule by June 2018.

Alongside this news, Ulbricht has been relocated from New York to a maximum-security penitentiary called USP Florence. The family says this prison is meant for some of the country’s most violent offenders and they don’t understand why Ross is being kept there for his life sentence. 

“Despite the horrors of his environment, Ross remains optimistic and strong, characteristically making the best of it,” explains Ross’s mother Lyn Ulbricht.  

He has immersed himself in his case, spending a lot of time in the law library, and otherwise focusing on staying healthy mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

What do you think about Ulbricht’s latest attempt for freedom by filing a Petition of Certiorari with the Supreme Court? Let us know what you think about this case in the comments below. 


Images via Shutterstock, and Freeross.org


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

 

The post Ross Ulbricht Continues to Fight for Freedom With Supreme Court Petition appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India’s Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five writ petitions have now been filed against the order by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning banks from providing services to entities dealing with cryptocurrencies. The country’s Supreme Court has set a date to hear all petitions but has barred all other courts from accepting any new ones.

Also read: US State Issues Emergency Cease and Desist Orders to Two Crypto Investment Firms

Latest Writ Petition Against RBI Order

Five petitions have been filed with Indian courts against RBI’s order banning financial institutions under its control from dealing with cryptocurrencies and servicing entities that deal with them including crypto exchanges. RBI has set “a three-month deadline or by July 5 for financial institutions to comply with its notice, putting the cryptocurrency businesses in India in a disarray,” the Economic Times elaborated.

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreThe latest writ petition was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a non-profit industry body representing the interests of online and mobile value-added services industry. It was filed on Tuesday according to IAMAI president, Subho Ray, and the Supreme Court website, Inc42 reported.

Crypto exchanges that are part of the association include Unocoin, Zebpay, and Coinsecure. They were originally part of another industry body called the Digital and Blockchain Foundation of India which merged with IAMAI, the publication detailed.

Four Other Writ Petitions

The fourth writ petition was “filed by a group of 11 different representatives from various crypto-related businesses,” the Economic Times conveyed on Monday. One of the petitioners told the news outlet:

Banking is an essential service. How can one deny access to an essential service when I am not doing anything illegal? You have not declared VCs (virtual currencies) illegal in the country.

Three more writ petitions were previously filed. One was by Kali Digital Eco-systems and another by Flinstone Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which conducts business under the trade name Money Trade Coin (MTC).

Moreover, a joint writ petition was filed by four cryptocurrency exchanges in the Supreme Court against the RBI circular on May 8. According to lawyer Mohammed Danish, the four exchanges are Coindelta Exchange run by Bitfair Technologies, Koinex Exchange run by Discidium Internet Labs, Throughbit Exchange run by Throughbit technologies, and Coindcx run by Neblio Technologies.

Supreme Court Taking Charge

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreFollowing the petition by IAMAI, the Supreme Court on Thursday reportedly refused to stay RBI’s order. “However, it 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,” the Financial Express explained.

All petitions relating to RBI’s crypto directive will be heard by the Supreme Court; the hearing is set for July 20. Pending petitions have been transferred to the Supreme Court from two high courts – two in Delhi High Court and one in Calcutta High Court.

Furthermore, high courts have been ordered not to entertain any more petitions regarding RBI’s crypto order, Business Standard described, adding:

No court shall accept petitions on the subject of cryptocurrency.

Do you think the Supreme Court will reverse RBI’s order? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Indian Express, and RBI.


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

The post Five Petitions Pile Up Against India’s Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore appeared first on Bitcoin News.

India’s Supreme Court Claims All Petitions Against Central Bank Crypto Blockade

The Supreme Court (SC) of India has barred all high courts from filing petitions against the central bank’s (RBI) crypto-curbing circular from April. The court also is clubbing all pending petitions, to be transferred to the SC. As cryptocurrency adopters, exchanges and advocacy groups move various high courts (HC) across the country in filing petitions … Continued

The post India’s Supreme Court Claims All Petitions Against Central Bank Crypto Blockade appeared first on CCN