India’s First ATM Seized And Its Co-founder Arrested

Maja Mazur
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Harish BV, the co-founder of India’s first ATM machine, has been arrested by The Central Crime Branch (CCB) Police. The business was supposedly run without a license.

The future is here

In Poland, we heard about cryptocurrency ATMs some time ago, when FuturoCoin revealed the plans of placing such first machine in Wroclaw. It’s not exactly a new thing in the crypto world – crypto ATMs are quite common around the world. Yet in India such a solution has become possible just recently. No more than two weeks ago, first Indian ATM was introduced by a company named Unocoin. It is one of the biggest cryptocurrency firms enabling buying, selling and storing bitcoins. They announced it uproariously on Twitter.


First in India

The ATM machine was placed in the city of Bengaluru, at one of the shopping malls. It immediately attracted attention of the press. The kiosk, how Times of India called it, allowed customers to trade bitcoins, deposit cash and withdraw exchanged money. Such facilities, like other bitcoin inventions, are more of an experiment for now. Still, not many people know how to use them but it’s a good thing they’re popping up here and there. It means that the crypto world is spreading fast.


The arrest

Unfortunately, this specific machine didn’t serve people very long. Today, The Times of India revealed that The Central Crime Branch police has confiscated the kiosk, two laptops, a cryptocurrency device, a mobile phone and some credit cards as evidence in the investigation. Moreover, 37-year old Harish BV, also known as BN Vijayakumar, was arrested. Harish is the co-founder of Unocoin, the company that set up the kiosk. He’s being accused of installing the ATM illegally. The police foresee other arrests as well.

Apparently, Harish’s company did not receive any permission for setting up a cryptocurrency ATM in the city. What’s more, the police suspects that the transactions made via the kiosk weren’t transparent. There was a possibility that the machine did not display the up-to-date value of bitcoin. All the details of this case will be revealed during the further investigation.

Not the best place for crypto

India is not exactly the most friendly environment for cryptocurrency solutions in general. There are some very strict regulations concerning digital money transactions in India. Trading is not entirely illegal but it’s considered outlawed. Cryptocurrencies just aren’t welcomed in India. The government constantly warns about the risks of engaging in this business. That’s probably why the kiosk was removed so quickly by the police.

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