NEW DELHI :
Last week, India’s Enforcement Directorate conducted several raids as part of an investigation into a massive crypto scam that involved a fake crypto called Morris coin that was floated to dupe millions of investors in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka of over ₹1,200 crore.
Last month, the official Twitter handle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “briefly compromised” and a message was posted declaring that India has accepted crypto as legal tender.
The massive surge in the value of cryptos after the pandemic and the availability of multiple wallets and exchanges have spurred a massive investment spree in cryptos. The value of some of these new cryptos, such as Dogecoin, soared by 8,300% last year, exceeding even that of bitcoin. And even though bitcoin prices are crashing again, the lure of cryptocurrencies remains. While it’s still not clear how many people in India own cryptos, some of the large crypto exchanges such as CoinSwitch Kuber claim to have over 15 million users.
That said, with more people in India trading in all sorts of cryptos, hackers are having a field day. According to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, the total value of cryptocurrencies held by illicit wallet addresses worldwide soared by 79% last year to $14 billion from $7.8 billion in 2020. Crypto investors lost over $2.8 billion globally to various crypto scams in 2021. Illicit address refers to…