India’s first Bitcoin ATM seized, operator Unocoin’s founder arrested

The co-founder of virtual currency exchange company Unocoin has been arrested by Central Crime Branch police. Harish BV, one of the co-founders of the startup, was produced before the additional chief magistrate and sent to judicial custody for 7 days. Unocoin recently got buzz for starting India’s first bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATM in Bengaluru.

According to the police, the ATM was installed a week ago at Kemp Fort Mall on Old Airport Road. The ATM was illegally operated since then without getting any approval from the state government or authorities. The kiosk in Kempfort Mall allowed users to deposit and withdraw a minimum of INR 1,000.

Police have seized the teller kiosk and besides, a mobile, three credit cards, five debit cards, two laptops, a passport, five seals of Unocoin company, a cryptocurrency device and INR 1.8 lakh has been recovered and seized by the officials. More arrest can possibly happen in the upcoming days.

According to an ET report, Unocoin is defending itself by saying that the kiosk was up and running for the last six months. The machine is still under final testing and has been temporarily removed from its original place of installation, an official statement by Unocoin describes.

The crypto startup also claimed that it operates under the regulatory norms and laws and the Indian government has not declared cryptocurrency illegal. The startup blames some Kannada and English news channels for distributing fake videos against the Bitcoin ATM kiosk that led to all that happened.

Unocoin was planning to increase the number of ATM installations in places like Mumbai and Delhi in the upcoming months.

After RBI banned banks from allowing any transactions with companies dealing with cryptocurrencies, startups like Zebpay has shifted to Singapore for continuing operations. Some of the crypto startups has challenged the RBI decision in the Supreme Court. However, the apex court is yet to give its final verdict on the matter.

Stephen Godchild
I am a Freelance Author and Journalist. I have written more than 5000 articles for different publications.

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