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First Bitcoin ATM Appears in India Despite Central Bank Crackdown

Despite the central bank’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin in India, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM has been established in Bengaluru’s Kemp Fort Mall.

The ATM is for the exclusive use of local crypto exchange Unocoin’s clients, allowing users to deposit cash or withdraw money for future use on Unocoin’s website or smart device application.

The machines offer a way of circumventing the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) cryptocurrency crackdown, as Unocoin say they do not involve the country’s banking system in any way, hence do not fall under the jurisdiction of the central bank. While Unocoin accepts that standard Bitcoin ATM’s would be banned in the country under RBI guidelines, it believes that because they do not offer banking services technically speaking, its ATMs are exempt.

Some of the harsh restrictions that RBI has established include a prohibition of business relationships between lenders and digital currency exchanges and traders, leading to a decline in trading volumes, local cryptocurrency businesses suffering financially, and a general backlash from the whole, suffering industry in India.

Differing slightly from Bitcoin ATMs seen outside the country, Unocoin hopes to fill the vacuum left by banks retreating from offering crypto businesses and investors financial services. With each user given unique access keys to their account, they cannot purchase assets directly from the machine but need to access the website or app to complete the transaction. Its predominant use is to allow users to deposit their cash for later use on the site.

Right now, the machine can accept cash deposits between INR 1,000 and INR 10,000.

Two more ATMs from Unocoin are scheduled for launch in Mumbai and New Delhi later this week, adding to an overall estimated total of 3,879 cryptocurrency ATMs operating in 76 countries.

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