India Does Not Recognize Cryptocurrencies as Legal Tender

Today, while presenting the country’s budget  for 2018, Arun Jaitley, Indian finance minister, spoke on refusing to recognize virtual currencies legal
01 February 2018   434

During his speech on the Union Budget 2018-19 at the Indian Parliament, Arun Jaitley reported that the Indian government does not consider any cryptocurrency as a valid funds. Also, the government will take measures to eliminate the use of virtual currency as part of the payments system or in financing activities.

Last month the country's Ministry of Finance already cautioned the public against investments in cryptocurrencies, calling them a ponzi scheme. The finance minister’s statement was released in a month after the above mentioned caution.

Despite the government position , this statement is likely to cause concern among traders and investors of cryptocurrencies.

However, any ban or restriction on the usage of virtual money as payment does not prohibit trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, because the finance minister did not report any ban on cryptocurrency exchanges.

At the same time, there are some restaurants and other local places which accept cryptocurrencies in India, and they might be forced to stop due to the government planning to take measures against cryptocurrency.

First real-life cryptocurrency robbery reported in Taiwan

Four men stole 5 million Taiwanese dollar worth of Bitcoin, the police has already arrested the suspects
22 February 2018   57

Bitcoin has attracted lots of unwanted attention from hackers and scammers alike. Recently not a week passes without news of an exchange or user being hacked or some company's computers being hijacked to mine cryptocurrency. And now Taiwanese news outlets report first real-life robbery of Bitcoin in their country.

The robbery took place in Taichung, Taiwan's central city. The police reports three men being involved in the robbery itself and one as a planner. Criminals persuaded the victim to meet with them face-to-face under the guise of being interested in buying Bitcoin from him. After the victim showed the robbers the proof of his bitcoins on his phone, the men attacked him and his friend and transferred 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollar via the phone wallet.

The suspects then forced the unfortunate seller to drink strong local liquor to make everything look like a drunken fight had taken place. The police arrived at the scene after receiving the reports of a fight and found two victims. Two of the offenders had fled, but the third has been arrested at the scene of the crime. He later provided investigation with information about his accomplices. They were arrested soon after.

The police later apprehended the man believed to be the mastermind behind the plan. All this was released in the yesterday's report by the Taiwanese law enforcement and the case is already viewed as “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery”. The report doesn't mention if the crypto was returned to the rightful owner.

Similar cases has been rumored to happen in the US, but no records are released as of yet. So the unofficial governmental advice is to be more cautious of the buyers requesting face to face meetings in the light of this event.