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Cryptocurrency This Week: Amit Bhardwaj’s Bitcoin Fraud Investigation, Delhi High Court’s Notice To RBI And More

Cryptocurrency This Week: Amit Bhardwaj’s Bitcoin Fraud Investigation, Delhi High Court’s Notice To RBI And More

Important Happenings From The World Of Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, ICOs And More [28 April - 4 May]  

Another milestone for Bitcoin. With 17 millionth Bitcoin mined this week, Bitcoin which currently is trading at $9.2K has remained unaffected by India’s RBI move to curb the banking interface between cryptocurrency and fiat currency.

Against the move, hearing a cryptocurrency exchange’s petition, Delhi High Court has now issued a notice to the RBI, Indian government and the GST Council.

The Bitcoin crime refuses to come down, in Gujarat while senior police officials have now been sent on remand for extorting Bitcoin, as the investigation against crypto guru Amit Bhardwaj proceeds further, the Pune police crime branch has nabbed two more startup founders who were apparently also involved in the case.

In India, while Bitcoin tax has remained moreover a puzzle, France has reduced the tax. Let’s take a look at this week’s development in cryptocurrency.

Two Startup Founders Arrested In Connection With Amit Bhardwaj’s $300 Mn Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme

Following the arrest of the mastermind behind the $300 Mn cryptocurrency scam, Amit Bhardwaj, the police has now made two more arrests. According to reports, Darwin Labs founders Sahil Baghla (former Bluegape founder) and Nikunj Jain (former Frankly.me founder and an angel investor) have been arrested in connection with Amit Bhardwaj in the $300 Mn cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme.

The duo had reportedly worked with Bhardwaj and received a 20% cut from him from their partnership.

After the arrest, the police also seized 43.225 Bitcoins ($384,269.60), 79.949 Ethereum ($50,403.04), cash worth $49,831 (INR 33 Lakh), a laptop and some mobile phones, among other things.

Cryptocurrency: Delhi High Court Issues Notice To RBI And Others

Accepting the petition filed by Ahmedabad-based cryptocurrency startup Kali Digital EcoSystems, the Delhi High Court has now issued a notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Union of India through Secretary, Ministry of Finance and GST Council.

Kali Digital had approached the High Court of Delhi on April 16, 2018, challenging RBI circular dated April 6, 2018 “Withdrawing Banking Support to Virtual Currency Exchanges”.

Speaking on the matter, Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co., advocate for the petitioner Kali Digital said, “The move by the RBI has put the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector in jeopardy and may affect the basic rights of such entities to carry on any trade. The circular appears to be arbitrary and unconstitutional since it does not give strong facts as to why the RBI is against the business of cryptocurrencies. Logical and well-thought arguments backed by solid facts are the primary requirements under the Constitution to put a stop to any business in India.”

This is not the first time that cryptocurrency firms have knocked the court’s door against the government’s apathy pertaining to cryptocurrencies. As reported by Inc42, Supreme Court of India had earlier issued a notice to the Ministries of Finance, Law and Justice, IT, SEBI and the RBI while hearing a plea filed by petitioner Dwaipayan Bhowmick seeking a Bitcoin regulatory framework. In its 43-page petition, Bhowmick has sought explanations regarding the delay over regulatory frameworks.

Speaking to Inc42, Dwaipayan informed that the case is still in the registry court, there has not been any development on the case so far.

France Reduces Bitcoin Taxes

On April 26, the French Council of State, Conseil d’Etat stated that the gains generated by cryptocurrencies should be considered as capital gains of movable property, with an exception which would imply a tax rate lower than the existing.

Thus, the new tax applicable for Bitcoin capital gains will be a flat 19%, significantly lower than that of the previous rate which was 45%.

However, Gregory Raymond, a French journalist reported that the total Bitcoin tax which includes other social taxes willstill be around 34.5%

Nasdaq Is Open To Becoming Cryptocurrency Exchange: CEO Adena Friedman

Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the world is open to becoming a platform for trading cryptocurrencies. While the company has already been cleared by the US SEC to offer Bitcoin futures, now the Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman stated, “If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market’, for something that provides a fair experience for investors.”

Speaking to CNBC, Adena said, “I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature. Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”

Meanwhile, investor Tim Draper who recently bought around 2,000 Bitcoins, remained bullish about the cryptocurrency power and maintained his stance that Bitcoin will hit the $250K mark by 2022.

MIT Publishes Three Ways To Destroy Bitcoin

Amid everyone going gaga about Bitcoin as ít can’t be destroyed, MIT Technology Review has now published an article “Let’s Destroy Bitcoin”. The article has discussed three scenarios or steps which can possibly bring down Bitcoin in the future.

The three scenarios are: launching government backed Fedcoins, stealthy takeover and tokenising everything.

As per the article, there are now 24 Mn active Bitcoin wallets in use around the world. And, it argues, “With networks, convenience wins and convenience is based on size. It’s the reason you’re on Facebook rather than some other social-media site – because everyone else is. If cryptocurrencies are to be widely used, it will be the habits of the masses, not the wishes of Bitcoin’s early adopters, that determine what becomes of Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision.”

‘Bitcoin Is The Greatest SCAM In History’

On one hand, while Tim Draper sees a great future in Bitcoin, on the other hand, former Paypal CEO Bill Harris avered that ‘Bitcoin is the greatest scam in the history’.

As per Bill Harris, founding CEO of Paypal, the so-called cryptocurrency is similar to the pump-and-schemes and therefore, has got ‘no-value’.

As more regulatory measures and bans, synonym developments with Bitcoin follows, as per Bitcoin blockchain, Mt Gox trustee has yet again moved or transferred 16K Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash to some other address. However, there is no confirmation whether these coins were sold or simply transferred.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, only 4 Mn Bitcoin remains to be mined, with the tumbling price increasing mining cost and increased regulatory bans will the cryptocurrency survive its end journey? During the roller coaster ride, will Bitcoin remain the most valuable cryptocurrency among all? Tell us, what do you think?

Author

Suprita Anupam

Inc42 Staff

An Electronics Engineer turned Business Journalist | Blogger | Avid Reader. Previously associated with Network18, Clean India Journal and Mudra Communications, he has been writing on a variety of issues that include cryptocurrency, policy-related matters, blockchain, investments-destination, technology and other startup-related matters.

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