They ceased operations because of threatening language from the Indian government, according to Kamesh Mupparaju, the founder and CEO of both markets. “If there is a sudden [order] to withdraw the funds, that would mean trouble for the customers,” Muppajaru told CNN.
Officials have repeatedly warned Indians not to trade in virtual currencies. The finance ministry compared them to “Ponzi schemes” in late December and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in February that the government would eliminate their use “in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.”
India’s central bank has also warned that those who invest in cryptocurrencies do so “at their own risk.” Related: India is bitcoin’s latest buzzkill While the government hasn’t yet introduced any restrictions on digital currencies, the threat that it might do so has spooked the industry.
BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia stopped accepting new deposits on January 1, and began telling customers to take their money out less than a week after Jaitley’s speech. “The Indian government is discouraging cryptocurrency trading,” the exchanges said in an email to users last month. Read more from money.cnn.com…
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