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ED Raids Offices Of Bitcoin Websites; Its Aftermath And Our Take

Enforcement directorate raided the office of Buysellbit.co.in and RBItco, websites that let people buy and sell bitcoin. According to ED, these website were in violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) rules as the central bank does not provide permission to make such transactions. The enforcement agency also said that around 1,000 transactions were made by 400 people through the buysellbit.co.in alone. The raid happened days after RBI posted an advisory on the use and trade of Virtual Currencies such as Bitcoin in India. Also read: Income Tax Department Wants To Tax Bitcoin Miners In India It is worth noting that transactions through the website were not completely anonymous as users had to submit PAN card details apart from those of the bank to buy or sell cryptocurrency, making it possible for the agency to track all the people who have used the website. An Ahmedabad-based forensic expert ECS Corporation (whose website or contact details we could not find) helped ED in the raid and they will work together to analyse the data collected from these two sites. The biggest fear government has is that Bitcoin will be used to move around black money internationally because of the ease with which it can be sold internationally as opposed to doing it via banks. Aftermath: Almost all the India-based websites that let people buy or sell Bitcoin have suspended operations following the raids.  RBItco website has an "under maintenance" message while Buysellbit.co.in has suspended operations with a message, "Post the RBI circular, we are suspending buy and sell…

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