Politics are taking on an important role in the future of Bitcoin in India. The India National Congress, an opposition party to the Bharatiya Janata Party, has claimed that the BJP is at the center of a huge Bitcoin scam. The allegations were made by Shaktisinh Gohil, a senior member of the INC. Gohil told an Indian news outlet that high-ranking members of the BJP were engaged in money laundering. The laundering was allegedly carried out by means of a Bitcoin scam. India's Criminal Investigation Department believes that the amount of money laundered could be as high as $723 million. INC and Gohil are requesting that the country's Supreme Court oversee a complete investigation to determine whether a crime may have been committed. According to Gohil, ranking members of the BJP were involved in extorting 200 Bitcoins from an Indian real estate developer. The developer, Sailesh Bhatt, made a formal complaint that Indian police demanded the Bitcoin which were worth about $2 million when the demand was made. Police also demanded that Bhatt fork over $4.6 million in fiat currency. Nalin Kotadaya served as an intermediary for the scam. Bhatt claims that Kotadaya encouraged paying the requested funds. Kotadaya is a member of the BJP. After Bhatt filed the complaint, Kotadaya went into hiding and has not been located. The CID has stated that Kotadaya is now presumed guilty of the offense. Gohil believes that the arrest of Kotadaya will likely lead to information that could implicate other BJP members in the scam. Gohil also believes that the ruling party is purposely creating roadblocks to impede the investigation. The news comes during a year that has been rough for Bitcoin investors. After a bull run in late 2017, the value of the cryptocurrency has plummeted during the first half of 2018.
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