India's Supreme Court has asked a key suspect in one of India's biggest bitcoin scams to disclose the username and password of his crypto wallet.
- India's top court asked Ajay Bhardwaj, the brother of Amit Bhardwaj, another suspect who is deceased, to disclose the information to India's Enforcement Directorate, a government agency that fights financial crime.
- The GainBitcoin scam is one of India's biggest bitcoin crimes ever. According to court documents, the scam is valued at 80,000 bitcoins, which is worth about Rs 20,000 crore, or $3.8 billion.
- In a hearing on Monday, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, a government lawyer, said, "This has nothing to do with the legality of cryptocurrency and the username and password is crucial in this matter."
- The Supreme Court, which is led by Justice DY Chandrachud, asked Bhardwaj to cooperate in the investigation and provide the username and password of his crypto wallet.
- Deepak Prakash, Ajay Bhardwaj's lawyer, told CoinDesk that his client doesn't know the username and password of his late brother's crypto wallet and said Ajay Bhardwaj himself has an almost unused crypto wallet and will cooperate with authorities.
- The top court was hearing a petition filed by Ajay Bhardwaj seeking to quash the GainBitcoin case against him. He and his deceased brother, Amit, are alleged to have offered a return of 10% on bitcoin for 18 months.
- The court also extended interim protection to Ajay Bhardwaj from arrest.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.