For several months now, Reserve Bank of India has been actively fighting cryptocurrency distribution. The last attempt to crush it was by blocking personal accounts. The ban went into effect in July, and all crypto exchanges in India subsequently lost their ability to provide rupee deposit and withdrawal services.
That move just sparked the creativity of the local crypto exchange Unocoin, and they opened receipt of funds via the ATMs. Now users can top-up the account directly with their local fiat currency — the rupee, legally avoiding transferring from the fiat account to the crypto one. This means that as long as the exchange has its own account, that can be technically registered anywhere abroad, and no ban can be imposed.
Unocoin is now planning to install 30 ATMs in the three biggest Indian cities. Interviewed for bitcoin.com, the CEO, Sathvik Vishwanath, announced:
“The first ATM will be operational in Bangalore tomorrow, followed by Mumbai and New Delhi in the upcoming week. These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before due to RBI restriction on banks to not provide bank accounts. The gap is now completely filled by these ATMs except that physical access is required to deposit and withdraw money.
He also added that the user can freely purchase any of the 30 currencies being traded on the exchange.
Unocoin exchange was founded in 2013, and now employs 120 personnel. From the beginning of the operations, the company has closed deals for more than 2bln rupee in cryptocurrency equivalent ($28 mil). The overall clientele is 1,3 mil people.
The described case is a great example, proving that cryptocurrencies will find ways to get widely distributed. Talking of these cases, illustrating the government institutions and financial structures interacting with crypto, it seems appropriate to compare it to the current situations in different countries.
Please read more on the Swiss government’s relationship with crypto and blockchain-based businesses in our article, where we interviewed one of the BLS speakers, Eduardo Salazar, who has vast experience in setting up companies within Switzerland.