Supreme Court Transfers GainBitcoin Cryptocurrency Scam Cases to CBI


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Published on: December 14, 2023 at 11:11 IST

The Supreme Court has handed over the cases related to the “GainBitcoin Ponzi Scheme” to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and shifted the trial proceedings to the CBI Court in Rouse Avenue, New Delhi.

The decision was made by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justices J.B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra.

The bench issued the order while disposing of a series of writ petitions filed by the accused seeking interim protection and the consolidation of First Information Reports (FIRs), among other reliefs.

Emphasizing that protection couldn’t be granted through writ petitions, the bench directed the accused to pursue remedies before the trial court by filing bail applications.

The court revoked a previous interim order from August 2019, which had granted anticipatory bail to the accused. The deposited amount of Rs 1 crore and passports were directed to be transmitted to the trial court.

The court considered the argument, acknowledging the grey area surrounding the legality of Bitcoin. The petitioners urged the court to appoint a centralized agency for the investigation, citing the lack of clarity from the Government of India on Bitcoin’s legal status.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Enforcement Directorate, highlighted the uncooperative nature of the accused’s family and stressed the necessity for custodial interrogation. She clarified that the matter was not about the legality of Bitcoins but focused on allegations of fraud and misappropriation of investors’ funds amounting to Rs. 20,000 crores. Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the CBI, informed the court that chargesheets had been filed in many of the cases by police agencies.


The GainBitcoin Ponzi Scheme allegedly orchestrated by the late Amit Bhardwaj and his family members involved the creation of Variabletech in Singapore in 2014.

The accused launched the GainBitcoin MLM Scheme, offering mining contracts promising 10% monthly returns in Bitcoin for 18 months. Due to the volatile bitcoin market, the scheme failed, leading to fraud allegations and misappropriation of funds. The accused reportedly collected 80,000 bitcoins valued at around Rs. 20,000 crores.

As of now, 40 FIRs have been filed in multiple states against Amit Bhardwaj, his brothers, and father. The accused filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in November 2018, seeking interim protection and consolidation of FIRs, which was granted on April 3, 2019. Amit Bhardwaj passed away on January 15, 2022.

Case details: Ajay Bharadwaj v Union of India W.P.(Crl.) No. 231/2019

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