As the country’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) looks into several cryptocurrency exchanges and freezes the assets of some trading platforms, India’s finance minister has issued a warning to investors about cryptocurrencies.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly warned about cryptocurrency Saturday at an event organized by the BJP Economic Cell. She cautioned the public and entrepreneurs that cryptocurrency is not currency, stating:
The government has already warned. I think all of us will have to share our thoughts and move with a bit of caution on this.
On Thursday, News18 reported that the finance minister asked investors to exercise caution on crypto, emphasizing that a new law on cryptocurrency is coming soon.
Her comments were made at a time when the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) is looking into cryptocurrency exchanges as part of its investigations into money laundering. At least two cryptocurrency exchanges’ assets have been frozen by the law enforcement organization this month. On August 5, Wazirx’s bank assets worth $8 million and Vauld’s bank and cryptocurrency assets worth about $46 million were both frozen.
In a statement responding to the ED’s accusations, Vauld said that after receiving a summons in July, it fully cooperated with the ED and provided all necessary information and documents. The company emphasized that the freeze order is particular to one client whose account was deactivated after utilizing the exchange’s services for a brief period of time:
We respectfully disagree with the freezing order. We follow strict KYC requirements in every country, including India.
“We are seeking legal advice on our best course of action in order to protect the interests of the company, its customers, and all the stakeholders,” Vauld detailed.