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Bitcoin firm told to refund investor

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Central Mumbai, has directed a bitcoin firm to refund Rs1.70 lakh with 12% interest from December 2017 till realization to a man who had invested in buying cryptocurrency from them. If the above money is not refunded within 30 days, an interest of 18% will have to be paid from the date of purchase to realization. The commission further directed Rs 40,000 to be paid to him towards mentally agony faced and litigation costs.

The order was pronounced on September 23, 2022, on a complaint by Ronal Menezes, a Chinchpokli resident, against Andhra Pradesh-based Bitcoin India Software Services Pvt. ltd

Mr Menezes purchased cryptocurrency worth Rs1.7 lakh as a personal investment on December 6, 2017, from the firm. However, he was not able to sell the same after a few years due to the restriction on the use of cryptocurrency by the Government of India and RBI.

Once the restrictions were removed, Mr Menezes wanted to sell all his investments but he was told that there is a restriction on the withdrawal of money for accounts prior to December 31, 2020. The withdrawal limit was set at Rs15,000 per day.

A month after Mr Menezes’s email requesting the limit be increased to Rs 2 lakh, his account was blocked and later terminated. Then he registered a complaint with the district consumer commission.

Pronouncing the judgment, the commission stated, “All allegations of the complainant made against the opposite party remained unchallenged hence we held that the opposite party committed deficiency in services in regard to virtual currencies. The opposite party failed to refute all allegations which have been made by the complainant against them in the complaint case.”

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