Bitcoin ATM Provider Unocoin Sees CEO and Co-Founder Arrested by Bengaluru Law Enforcement
CEO and Co-Founder of Unocoin Arrested by Law Enforcement in Bengaluru
Just a few days after Unocoin’s first co-founder as arrested in Bengaluru, law enforcement agents in the area have now arrested the CEO and second co-founder Sathvike Viswanath. According to Ethereum World News, this marks “the deal of Bitcoin ATM” in the area.
Unocoin has not always been this unsuccessful. In fact, there was a time when Unocoin was thriving in India, and it is the oldest virtual currency trading company to date. However, after these two arrests, the opportunity to have a functioning BTC ATM in the city is over.
Times of India, a local publication, reported that Viswanath had his cell phone, laptop, and other items confiscated by detectives. Then, the co-founder was seen by a judge is Tumakuru before being detained for a week. According to a police officer, Viswanath allegedly worked with Harish BV to defraud the public with their kiosks.
S Girish of DCP (Crime) noted that the virtual currency operation involving the ATMs was illegal within the country’s borders. Furthermore, the local authorities noted that the fact that the ATM kiosk was meant to assist with digital currency trading made it unlawful for it to exist at all. Unfortunately, based on their findings, it looks like the company has deleted digital transactions, clients’ details, and anything else that could be sourced as evidence, which was stored entirely in laptops.
The Bitcoin ATMs were first installed by Unocoin in Kempfort Mall, which is in Bengaluru. When it was established, users were able to purchase BTC, ETH, and XRP (among others) with the use of fiat currency. Since the cryptocurrency exchange did not get permission to install the ATMs in the first place, Harish was arrested on October 23rd, followed by Viswanath shortly after.
This is when Viswanath ultimately decided to challenge the claim, saying that there is nothing within the country to say that digital currency itself is illegal. Furthermore, he pointed out that the Indian government has allowed the trading and ownership of digital currency.
Naturally, with the risk that RBI sees in virtual currency, they did not just take these claims laying down. They have shut down multiple businesses involved with digital currency, and the bank ultimately banned all exchanges involving these interactions. What they did not consider, it seems, is that they would be stopping the services from Zebpay, which is an Indian crypto exchange. Though the interruption of exchanges was intended, there are also many pending transactions that were impacted.
As such, Zebpay ultimately decided to end their business within India. Instead, they have been welcomed by Malta, which is a much more crypto-friendly company.