BENGALURU: AMIDST uncertainty over the validity of cryptocurrencies and the Central government directions preventing banks from trading the same, Unocoin Technologies Private Ltd has set up India’s first ATM kiosk to trade in cryptocurrencies in Bengaluru. The first-of-its-kind automated teller machine will have both a trading and exchange platform, and will allow verified customers to use the device. It is expected to become operational soon.
This kiosk is accessible to registered customers of Unocoin and is located at Kemp Fort Mall, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru. According to Unocoin, the customers will be able to buy or sell up to 10 Bitcoins — one of the high value cryptocurrencies per day. However, all the transactions will have to be conducted in Indian rupees which will then be changed into the currency of choice of the consumer. The kiosk, according to a representative of Unocoin, will allow customers to trade in Bitcoin and Ethereum, while providing an exchange platform for 24 other cryptocurrencies in circulation.
Customers risking the use of Bitcoins will have to register by using their mobile number and entering a password.A verification process is initiated during which details such as PAN number, phone number, address, bank details, and others have to be furnished. It uses an elaborate procedure for both deposits and withdrawals, with the withdrawals requiring a prior request and 12-digit OTP.
A customer representative of the firm told TNIE that cryptocurrency was ‘neither legal or illegal’ and even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that Bitcoin users were investing on the currency at their own risk. Moreover, a statement by Unocoin founder Sathvik Vishwanath said the notice issued by Finance Ministry on cryptocurrencies doesn’t talk about “the legality of cryptocurrencies as such and hence the legality status of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in India remain unchanged. This decision of RBI’s was more in line with its earlier statements on the risk associated with the cryptos.”
However, retired bank official T K Shivaram said cryptocurrencies were not a legal tender and were not recognised by the government. “People who are using such currencies are at risk without recognition from RBI,” he added.