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Indian FM warns crypto investors to exercise caution as ED investigates crypto exchanges

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s FM, warned the general public and crypto investors that cryptocurrencies should be treated with caution since much of what is floating around is not actual money. She stated this at a BJP Economic Cell event on August 13 to introduce its souvenir, “Vishwaguru Bharat.” She drew attention to the apparent reference to the ongoing money laundering investigations the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been carrying out and cited one recent media-covered example in which the probe was still ongoing as demonstrating several risks. ED carried out an inquiry into Yellow Tune Technologies, an Indian company that was a client of Vauld’s Indian company Flipvolt Technologies, and discovered that this company was involved in a tax evasion case on August 12. The lawsuit is related to Chinese lending platforms that operated in India’s digital lending market.

At least two crypto exchanges’ assets have been confiscated by the ED this month. On August 5, Wazirx’s bank assets totaling $8 million and Vauld’s bank and crypto assets worth around $46 million were both seized. In a statement responding to the ED’s accusations, Vauld said that after getting a summons in July, it completely cooperated with the ED and submitted all necessary information and documentation. The business emphasised that the freezing order is exclusive to one client whose account was cancelled after utilising the exchange’s services for a limited period of time:

“With due respect, we reject the freezing order. We adhere to stringent KYC guidelines in every nation, including India. “

Vauld added:

“In order to safeguard the interests of the business, its clients, and all other stakeholders, we are seeking legal counsel on our best line of action.”

She noted, though, that technology offers a wide range of opportunities and that anyone involved in the crypto ecosystem shouldn’t assume that the government is backward-looking or hostile to technology. The Union government, according to Ms. Sitharaman, is eager to promote blockchain distributed ledger technology in the country.

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Vaishali Goel
Technology enthusiast, explorer and academic scholar. Currently exploring the crypto world. Join me in my journey to see how crypto, NFT and Metaverse will change the world.
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