Few days back, we wrote about how the new INR deposit and Withdrawals on Bitbns Exchange via a company called BidforX works and how it may probably be risky for Bitbns in the current environment.
Users can deposit INR to an auction site BidforX which can inturn generate vouchers that can be used to deposit INR on Bitbns exchange itself. I would also want to talk about the legality of this method, but I am going to avoid that for now, as Bitbns has announced ‘A new way to deposit and withdraw INR’ that will go live at 3 PM today.
But a bunch of users wanted to know if BidforX is just another product of Bitbns or Buyhatke, the legal entity behind Bitbns. It isn’t. Not directly atleast. BidforX has different directors and is registered under a different name. But there is a connection between Bitbns and BidforX, which is what we will disclose.
So how are these two companies, Bitbns and BidforX connected? We did some digging with the help of a telegram user who wishes to remain anonymous.
Who is behind BidforX?
The company that is running BidforX is called “IncrediAuctions Internet Private Limited”, incorporated on May 22, 2018. The details were found in the footer of the email sent for Login OTP to BidforX users. After knowing the company name it was as easy as entering the name on google and looking it up.
Directors of IncrediAuctions / BidforX
The google search of IncrediAuctions led us to multiple websites that maintain the data of companies registered in India. These websites also share the details of the directors of the company.
Turns out, IncrediAuctions was incorporated on May 22, 2018 with two directors – Akhil Kumar Oruganti and Rishikesh Sharan with an authorised capital of INR 10 lacs only.
Many users noted that the bank account they were using to deposit money to BidforX has also changed since yesterday. Earlier the UPI ID was megaauctions@icici which was on the name of ‘Incredi Auctions’, but the new UPI ID megaauctions@ybl is an account in the name of ‘Akhil Kumar O’.
This is highly risky for Bitbns to operate. Collecting money for the company into an account that belongs to the director is breaking a couple of laws I reckon.
BidforX Connection with Bitbns
Does BidforX belong to Bitbns? The latter has denied any involvement. It is true, only directly. Bitbns and BidforX are two different companies with two different sets of directors. But, there is indirect connection that should be mentioned.
BidforX Directors are former Bitbns Employees?
Are the directors of BidforX in any way connected to Bitbns? It seems yes. Here’s how
Director #1 Rishikesh Sharan
If you google the name of the director and add Bitbns to it, you will see something peculiar. Rishikesh Sharan’s name shows a bunch of tweets and medium profile but both, his twitter profile and medium profile are now deleted. However, this is the internet, can you truly remove anything from the internet? The answer is NO. There are always cached and archived versions.
We respect the privacy of an individual so we will not share his deleted profile but here’s the google search result and you can see, he has retweeted some important Bitbns tweets and we also found a now deleted vote to list Bitbns Exchange on Delta app (highlighted)
Rishikesh may have deleted his Linkedin Profile and created a new one as ‘Director at IncrediAuctions’ but two days ago, we found his previous profile’s cached version too. You won’t find it anywhere now.
There are many other proofs, like the now deleted user on Bitbns telegram group that went by the name Rishikesh, or his youtube profile, or his deleted answer about Bitbns on Quora. But I suppose you get the idea that Rishikesh is or was somehow connected to Bitbns.
Director #2 Akhil Kumar
This one is fairly easy to crack. Despite removing the social media profiles, there is one important connection that can be found by google search. A PTI press release published by BusinessWorld in January says the media contact for Bitbns is Akhil Kumar.
I will not deny the possibility of this being an entirely different Akhil Kumar, maybe there is an Akhil Kumar in Buyhatke as well as at Incrediauctions, or maybe these are the same people.
However, seeing that the company was formed in May, the domain registered in April, a week after RBI’s banking ban and the several social connections of Rishikesh Sharan with Bitbns would make you lean towards the argument that Akhil Kumar, director of IncrediAuctions was in some capacity involved with Bitbns.
Coin Crunch has asked Bitbns to clarify their stand or partnership with BidforX. There is no formal response to the email, but until now, the team has mentioned in several public telegram groups including ours, that they are not involved with BidforX.
I will repeat what I said previously, I admire the Bitbns spirit of innovation and pushing barriers when it comes to their product – Bitbns. I am also hoping that every ‘new’ development that happens with Bitbns, is approved by their legal advisor because they are walking on the Razor’s edge when it comes to such jugaad. Their bid to bring a better option than P2P and keep INR markets operational is proof that they are going lengths to find innovative and unique solutions.
That being said, there appears to be plenty wrong with BidforX voucher deposits according to legal and Financial experts coin crunch consulted. A voucher is a prepaid payment instrument that can never be redeemed back to cash unless the entity is properly registered as a non banking PPP (Prepaid payment provider) with RBI. The catch 22 here is that if BidforX is registered with RBI, they automatically can’t allow money transfer to Bitbns because of the Banking ban. If BidforX is not registered with RBI, they can provide vouchers but they cannot let users redeem it back to INR.
Thankfully Bitbns is coming up with a ‘new’ way of INR deposits and withdrawals later today and lets hope we don’t have to dig out laws that deem it ‘incorrect’. All said and done, I believe that BidforX is a product of former or maybe even current Bitbns employees and that should be disclosed. It is real money that these companies are handling so it is important that the faces behind these companies, or atleast the name of the parent companies are made public.