Cyber Crime police in Bengaluru have made a second arrest in connection with the seizure of the Bitcoin ATM installed by virtual currency exchange company Unocoin at Kempfort Mall in Bengaluru.
After one of the co-founders of Unocoin Harish BN was arrested on Tuesday, the company’s second co-founder Sathvik Vishwanath has also been arrested. Both Sathvik and Harish were arrested for setting up the ATM without gaining prior approval. The duo maintained that while cryptocurrency is not legal tender, it is not illegal either and that an ATM can be set up. Both Sathvik and Harish hail from Tumakuru in Karnataka.
"The arrests were made after we found that no prior permissions were taken to set up the ATM and the duo are handling the money. We are concerned about whether these transactions are recorded," a Cyber Crime police official told TNM.
The ATM was set up in spite of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) crackdown against cryptocurrency in the country. The RBI in a notification earlier this year titled ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’ that banks associated with the RBI are not allowed to deal in cryptocurrency. The central bank further stated that cryptocurrency is not legal tender.
The ATM kiosk was unveiled in Kempfort Mall last week and attracted attention for being the first of its kind in the country. Users of the ATM are able to deposit and withdraw cash which would reflect in their respective Unocoin account. A minimum amount of Rs.1,000 was set.
Unocoin was planning to install similar ATMs in Mumbai and Delhi but the plans are currently on hold after the arrest of its co-founders in Bengaluru. A tweet posted by Unocoin on Sunday stated, "Our Machine didn't go well with few mainstream media reports who projected it under a negative light. The machine is still under final testing mode and it will be up and running in the upcoming week. The machine has been temporarily moved from its original place of installation.”