Indian Crypto Trading Platform Unocoin Cuts Staff to 14 As Regulation Remains Uncertain

Ongoing regulatory uncertainty in India regarding the use and trading of cryptocurrencies has caused a number of related firms there to close or relocate.

Most recently, reports Economic Times, Indian crypto trading platform Unocoin has made additional staff cuts, and it’s total workforce now sits at 14 people, down from an all-time high of 100 about a year ago.

The company as trying to wait out yet another delay in a Supreme Court case designed to test the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on the banking of crypto firms.

On April 6, Unocoin posted an announcement on their site indicating all INR deposits and withdrawals had been halted on orders from the Royal Bank of India. Unocoin said that once an alternative method of funding is identified and deployed, they will resume the deposit and withdrawal services.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Indian government to finalize rules to govern the Indian crypto sector by March of this year.

When March came around, however, Supreme Court justices shelved the case until after the Indian general elections- the largest in the world with over 900 000 eligible voters.

The soonest a decision will be tendered now is in July, and that is sour news for firms struggling to finance themselves since the banking ban was ordered in April of 2018.

According to the Economic Times, Unocoin has received only $1.5 million USD from private investors, and the entire crypto sector in India has only received $8.5 million.

According to Sathvik Vishwanath, Unocoin CEO:

“We did ask people to leave last week, but our operations will continue for the foreseeable future. We have some amount of reserves to push through for the next couple of months and will wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict.”

Unocoin founders Viswanath and Harish BV made the news last October after they were arrested by officers from the Central Crime Branch for installing an unauthorized bitcoin ATM in a mall in Bengaluru.

The two men had been trying to launch a “BTM” division in order to allow cash to flow to Unocoin after customers could no longer send funds via banks.

According to Economic Times, Indian crypto trading platform Coindelta shut down this month after 18 months in business, and Zebpay, “one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, closed shop in September last year.”

In fact, Zebpay relocated to Malta, where it reportedly continues to offer crypto trades to citizens of 20 countries, but not to Indians.

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