CoinSwitch CEO Ashish Singhal took to Twitter on Aug. 27, 2022, to assure the public that its recent engagement with the Enforcement Directorate has nothing to do with money laundering.
Singhal says the company has openly discussed its business model and compliance measures and is “fully cooperating” with the Enforcement Directorate – Bengaluru. The company’s engagement with the watchdog was not related to money laundering, Singhal emphasized in the Twitter thread.
Singhal’s response came after officials from India’s Enforcement Directorate raided five of CoinSwitch’s premises as part of a broader probe into possible violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act by Indian exchanges.
Singhal declines to comment
An unnamed source told Reuters that agents engaged CoinSwitch for suspected foreign exchange violations, confirming an earlier report by Be[In]Crypto. While Singhal declined to comment on the nature of CoinSwitch’s engagement with law enforcement, citing confidentiality concerns, he did point out that India needs a clearer regulatory approach to cryptocurrency for companies to understand their legal obligations.
Singhal highlighted that India is not alone in its bid to categorize crypto into a specific asset class. Both the U.S. and Australia are grappling with the issue. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission is adamant that cryptocurrencies are securities and is currently investigating Coinbase for listing unregistered securities. In Australia, a recently-announced “token-mapping” exercise will help regulators examine existing licensing frameworks, organizational structures, and asset custodian obligations to regulate the crypto space better.
Singhal believes that crypto can revolutionize the internet and reiterates the company’s commitment to “do right” by users. CoinSwitch is backed by venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and Coinbase Ventures.
ED on the warpath
The Enforcement Directorate had launched various probes into crypto companies since June 2021, when it summonsed WazirX executives to provide explanations for transactions with Chinese counterparties totaling over $350 million. About a month later, it summoned top crypto executives to check whether their companies violated foreign exchange rules.
After that, the ED froze the bank assets of a director of the operator of WazirX, Zanmai Lab Private, seizing over $8 million. Soon the assets of Vauld, another crypto exchange, were frozen as the ED investigated the exchange for allegedly allowing 16 predatory fintech companies to deposit funds into the wallets controlled by Yellow Tune Technologies.
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