Crypto Players Concerned After Unocoin Action
After police authorities arrested the founders of cryptocurrency Unocoin, Sathvik Viswanath and Harish BV, many crypto players started condemning the suo-motu action taken saying the arrests were totally unwarranted.
Major Crypto exchanges have concerns about increasing harassment and operation shutdowns following the arrests, asserting that the use and trade of cryptos are legal.
Co-founder of startup company Etherbit Harsh Vakharia, who is officially registered as a reseller in India of BTC wallet Ledger, was disappointed regarding the arrests and wondered why they took place when no loss of money or fraud or even customer complaints occurred.
Players have suspected as well that this might be a case of overreach. The Chief Executive Officer of BitLox, Hong Kong’s BTC hardware wallet, Dana L Coe, says that because of the legal status of cryptos in India, no criminal violation or fraud actually took place, which means filing the case on a criminal basis is an overreaction from the police. They had the option of filing it as a civil lawsuit against the founders for not possessing the appropriate licenses.
The startup community has further concerns about this move because it may seem like a step to discourage founders from looking into new destinations for expansion. Ravi Guraraj, president of TiE Bangalore and Qikpod’s founder, expressed how innovation only takes place when fresh startup companies go beyond limits and boundaries. He hopes the authorities will release them once an agreement is reached to ensure the company’s ATM is in compliance with existing regulations.
On the other hand, KS Viswanathan, a member of Nasscom, has pointed out that everything will be observed in due process, as not all the facts are clear.
The Chief Executive Officer of an online crypto exchange, who preferred anonymity, has claimed users of his platform have started asking about his official license or permit. Crypto platforms do not have such permits unlike a fintech company, wallet, or NBFC since the ministry of finance does not issue them because the crypto industry is not considered a regulated sector. Users have to take the risk of transacting on such exchange platforms.
Zebpay, considered among India’s biggest crypto exchanges, was shut down last September after the RBI restricted banks from supporting cryptocurrencies. There is speculation that they have relocated to Malta.
The public has responded with primarily angry reactions toward the government for the arrests, but authorities in India continue to reiterate that crypto in the nation remains illegal.