ED raids premises of two entities trading in bitcoins

ED raids premises of two entities trading in bitcoins

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises of two entities trading in bitcoins, a virtual currency, officials said today.

The raids were conducted on the premises of buysellbit.co.in in Bopal area of the city and rbi.rbit.co.in in Satellite area of the city yesterday, officials said.

The raid continued today as well and the ED has found records of bitcoins transactions.

The move comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued an advisory cautioning general public against the use of bitcoins.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be generated through complex computer software systems with solutions shared on a network, although the process is complex and such 'mining' can be done only on very powerful servers.

Hardly three years into existence, bitcoin has already become the world's most expensive currency and its per unit value soared past USD 1,000 level or about Rs 63,000 recently, although the prices have now slipped below Rs 50,000 level.

RBI is yet to come out with a clear regulatory framework for bitcoins, which have been gaining currency across the world over the past few months.

An ED official said that many transactions were recorded on buysellbit.co.in, owned by Mahin Gupta and officials are checking whether these are cross-border transactions or internal transactions. Gupta was also grilled.

"We are tracking the people who availed these services and from whom they availed these services," the official said.

"If the transactions have taken place across the countries, it will come under the purview of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), while if it has taken place within the country, it will come under the lens of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," the official added.

The premises of rbi.rbit.co.in, owned by Nilam Doctor, were sealed, sources said.

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