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India: Bitcoin [BTC] trader commits suicide over alleged harassment by top cop over loss of funds

Namrata Shukla

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India: Bitcoin trader commits suicide over alleged harassment by cop
Source: Pixabay

The Indian crypto community has been actively spreading awareness in the country about the crypto-ecosystem, busting myths going around in the nation. However, as the country awaits a decision from the Supreme Court over the legality of crypto, another unfortunate incident has come to light in the state of Gujarat.

A local Bitcoin [BTC] trader, Bharat Patel, committed suicide over alleged threats he received from the Deputy Superintendent of Police [DSP] and his brother for losing their Bitcoin investment, reported Times of India. According to the report, the DSP had invested 11.275 BTC six months ago, currently worth $89,800. However, due to a certain dip in the market, the DSP and his brother lost part of their investment. Since Bharat was responsible for the investment, the brothers allegedly threatened him to compensate them for their loss.

Apart from the alarming suicide and the fact that the victim was trading cryptocurrencies, assets which are illegal in India, the revelation that a police officer was dealing in crypto has raised many eyebrows. The state’s investigative agency, CID, is also reportedly investigating a multi-million Bitcoin scam and extortion case. This case is another in a growing list of crypto-related cases in the country. A senior police officer was cited stating,

“We will probe the suicide case obviously, but a thorough investigation in the bitcoin trading case is also necessary now.”

The Indian government is rumored to be considering a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in the country, while the Indian crypto-community continues to fight for regulatory clarity. Even though the Finance Ministry and the RBI had banned crypto and declared it illegal tender, the number of scams and other problems that can be solved with clear regulations are mounting. The status of crypto can now only be learnt at the next hearing, scheduled for July 2019.





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