Indian police launch probe into BitConnect founder wanted by US SEC

The saga of BitConnect, a major cryptocurrency scam scheme, is taking another twist as one of the BitConnect co-founders is now wanted by the Indian state police. Satish Kumbhani, an Indian national and the alleged founder of the crypto Ponzi scheme BitConnect, reportedly became subject to a new police investigation in India, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The Pune police, operating under the Indian state Maharashtra Police, launched a probe into Kumbhani after a Pune-based lawyer filed a complaint claiming that he lost about 220 Bitcoin (BTC), or $5.2…

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Binance distances from WazirX as Indian regulators keep chasing crypto

The Twitter exchange between WazirX co-founder Nischal Shetty and Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao over the ownership of the Indian crypto exchange grabbed a lot of headlines in the first week of August.  WazirX was reportedly acquired by Binance in 2019, and ever since then, the Indian crypto exchange has been referred to as “Binance-owned”; however, to everyone’s surprise, CZ took to Twitter to claim that the acquisition process never went through and Binance has no ownership in the Indian crypto exchange. 2/ On 21 Nov 2019, Binance published a…

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Indian authorities freeze more crypto funds over money laundering allegations

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) announced Friday that it has frozen the financial accounts of Bengaluru-based financial services company Yellow Tune Technologies, some of which were held by Flipvolt crypto exchange, the Indian branch of Singaporean Vauld. The move is linked to an ongoing investigation into money laundering by China-linked instant loan companies. This is the second time this week the agency has taken action in the crypto sphere in connection with that case.  The financial watchdog announced it was freezing Yellow Tune’s bank balances, payment gateway balances and balances…

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Indian law enforcement accuses WazirX exchange of aiding in laundering of $130M

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), the agency responsible for financial crimes, is looking at cryptocurrency exchanges suspected of processing transactions that sent more than 10 billion rupees, or about $130 million, from firms under investigation to international wallets. At least ten crypto exchanges are allegedly involved, according to an official who spoke to The Economic Times, and bank accounts of exchange WazirX have been frozen, the newspaper reported. Transactions of up to 1 billion rupees, or $1.3 million, were allegedly made in the names of people with no connections to the…

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Binance sides with Indian regulators in WazirX fallout to cease support for off-chain transfers

As reported by local news outlet The Economic Times on Monday, Binance is scheduled to remove off-chain fund transfers with Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX on Thursday, although users will still be able to deposit and withdraw balances via the standard withdrawal and deposit process between the two exchanges. Three days prior, The Directorate of Enforcement of India alleged that WazirX “actively assisted around 16 accused fintech companies in laundering the proceeds of crime using the crypto route” and subsequently froze $8.1 million in bank balances related to the exchange.  Simultaneously,…

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Indian authorities freeze $8.1M in WazirX funds as part of AML investigation

India’s Directorate of Enforcement, or ED, has announced it froze roughly $8.1 million in funds and conducted a search connected to cryptocurrency exchange WazirX as part of an investigation into instant personal loan fraud. In a Friday announcement, the Directorate of Enforcement alleged WazirX facilitated transactions by unnamed fintech firms “to purchase crypto assets and then launder them abroad” as part of a scheme involving Chinese-backed companies circumventing India’s licensing regulations. In its investigation, the ED said it ordered WazirX bank accounts containing 646.7 million Indian rupees — roughly $8.1…

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Crypto tax deters 83% Indian investors from crypto trading: WaxirX report

The implications of what anti-crypto regulations can do to a thriving economy can be seen first-hand unfolding in India. Supporting the massive decline in trading volumes across all Indian crypto exchanges, a report from WazirX reveals a change in investor sentiment as the Indian government imposed its second crypto law — a 1% tax deduction at source (TDS) on every crypto transaction. Trading volumes on Indian crypto exchanges saw an eventual reduction of 90-95% ever since the country introduced a law that would tax investors 30% on unrealized gains. With…

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Indian crypto trading volumes slump following hefty taxes

Trading volume on three major Indian crypto exchanges plummeted 72.5% on average since July 1, when a 1% tax per transaction was enforced in the country. The Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) came into effect on July 1 and appears to have negatively affected traders as exchange volumes dropped from 37.4% on BitBNS and 90.9% on CoinDCX by July 3. Volumes have stabilized slightly since hitting lows but are still down 56.8% on average, according to CoinGecko. Indian YouTube channel Crypto India tweeted on July 4 that exchange revenues, based…

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Indian government’s ‘blockchain not crypto’ stance highlights lack of understanding

Indian crypto businesses are struggling with the new tax policies as trading volumes have dried up and many established crypto firms are looking to relocate to more crypto-friendly jurisdictions. While many developed countries and even several of its Asian counterparts are actively studying and formulating better crypto regulations, the Indian government has maintained a “blockchain, not crypto” stance. It might seem like the government is taking a cautionary step to focus on the underlying technology while keeping its distance from the volatile and risky crypto market. However, going by the…

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