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Who is Amit Bhardwaj? Indian cryptocurrency scamster arrested for $300 mn fraud

International Business Times (IN) logo International Business Times (IN) 05-04-2018 Aastha Agnihotri

Amit Bhardwaj, the founder of GainBitcoin, has been arrested in Bangkok for allegedly duping thousands of Indian investors by hatching Bitcoin-based Ponzi schemes. Bhardwaj has been accused of cheating to the tune of $300 million (about Rs 2,000 crore).

GainBitcoin was involved in multi-level marketing cryptocurrency schemes.

a person sitting in a chair: Amit Bhardwaj, the founder of a bitcoin-mining pool called GBMiners, has been arrested for $300 mln fraud. © Amit Bhardwaj's Twitter profile Amit Bhardwaj, the founder of a bitcoin-mining pool called GBMiners, has been arrested for $300 mln fraud.

Here are some of the lesser-known facts about Bhardwaj:

  • Bhardwaj, who is often referred to as a Bitcoin evangelist and Bitcoin visionary, is an alumnus of MGM's College of Engineering in Maharashtra and has worked with software major Infosys.
  • Bhardwaj founded GainBitcoin in 2013 as a cloud-based platform for trading and mining of bitcoins.
  • "It is my vision to get even the smallest investor to ride the Bitcoin wave. I can say with confidence that our early stage hitches have been ironed out and GainBitcoin is firm on its feet to offer a robust, trustworthy trading environment to our 1,00,000+ customers. We have also witnessed a record 47 percent hike in transactions after process restructuring and site revamp," Bhardwaj had told Cointelegraph last year.
  • The website was apparently a Ponzi scheme that guaranteed 10 percent monthly returns for 18 months. So, you would end up having a profit of 80 percent after 18 months. But if you directly invested in bitcoins back in January, you would have a profit of over 700 percent.
  • New Delhi-based Bhardwaj also floated India's first online retailer – Highkart that allowed Bitcoin-based payments. The company shut down operations in 2016.
  • In 2016, Bhardwaj started Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research, CoinBank Wallet, and GBMiners - all associated with blockchain technology and bitcoins.
  • He also created GainBitcoin-issued token, MCAP. Initially, MCAP tokens were valued at $5 during the ICO. But soon, the company started valuing MCAP token many times higher than the market price.
  • Bhardwaj has authored several books on blockchain and cryptocurrency, including 'Cryptocurrency For Beginners', 'Cryptocurrency Trading' and 'Cryptocurrency Mining.'
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