India’s leading crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber’s CEO Ashish Singhal on Saturday said that the company is fully cooperating with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Bengaluru, after reports surfaced that ED raided its premises over alleged money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Singhal said that the company’s engagement with the ED was not related to any money laundering inquiry. Also Read - From WazirX, CoinDCX to CoinSwitch, top Blockchain companies of India
“Enforcement Directorate-Bengaluru has been engaged with us with respect to functioning of our crypto platforms/exchanges. We are fully cooperating with them,” he said in a tweet thread. Reports this week mentioned that five premises tied to the CoinSwitch Kuber were searched, including the residences of directors, the CEO, and the official properties, in Bengaluru, as ED goes after at least 10 crypto exchanges and lending platforms over their alleged involvement in money laundering of around Rs 80,000 crore. Also Read - CoinSwitch introduces new SIP-like 'recurring buy plan' feature for Crypto investors
Singhal said that being in early stages, cryptos are not yet clearly classified in most parts of the world. “Now, the law (in India and elsewhere) is still assessing if crypto is a ‘commodity’, ‘security’, ‘currency’ or something new. This is a work in progress,” he tweeted. Also Read - Female cryptocurrency investors comprise 15% of userbase: CoinSwitch Kuber
India is not alone as Australia is carrying out a “token mapping” to understand this situation. In the US, there is an ongoing debate whether some crypto are considered commodities, others securities.
“As an industry leader in India and one of the most compliant crypto platforms, we have been engaged in constructive dialogues with various stakeholders to help them understand our business models, best compliance practices, thereby bringing more clarity on such matters,” said Singhal.
ED recently froze crypto lending platform Vauld’s bank assets worth Rs 370 crore over its “predatory lending practices”. The ED conducted searches at various premises of Yellow Tune Technologies Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru, and froze assets belonging to Flipvolt crypto exchange which runs the Darshan Bathija-led Vauld.
Earlier, the ED froze bank assets of Nischal Shetty-run crypto exchange WazirX’s parent company Zanmai Lab worth Rs 64.67 crore.