There has been no government crackdown on Indian exchanges: Unocoin CIO

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Hemanth Kumar, CIO at Bangalore-based Bitcoin exchange Unocoin, has dismissed the recent reports around the Indian government’s so-called crackdown on cryptocurrency trading platforms. In reality, there has been a fairly cordial relationship between exchanges and government officials. Kumar dismissed all talk about a crackdown as “sensationalism”.
What’s going on?

Nearly a year ago, the RBI released a white paper on the possible applications of blockchain – the underlying technology powering all cryptocurrencies – to Indian scenarios. Ever since then, there has been a boom in blockchain and crypto-related business ventures in India. Even the public is getting on board. According to Kumar, Unocoin has added over 9 lakh traders on their platform since demonetisation kicked in on November 8, 2016. Previously, they had only managed to garner 1 lakh customers between December 2013 to October 2016.

However, towards the end of 2017, there were rumours that the government had turned against cryptocurrency trading in India. In December, there were even mentions of simultaneous raids on multiple Indian exchanges. However, Kumar states that these ‘raids’ were far more friendly than reported. He says that the authorities just asked exchanges for information on their registered traders so that they could have a better understanding of the Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem and how to regulate it.

So, there’s no reason to worry?

That depends on who you ask. Kumar himself is very bullish on Bitcoin’s prospects in the upcoming months. Much like John McAfee, he believes that Bitcoin has a bright future. On the other hand, there have been reports that the Indian government has banned new Bitcoin exchanges from being registered in India. Only time will tell if India is going to become a heavyweight in the cryptocurrency world or not.

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