Bitcoin and the Digital Explosion in India

It all started with cash… and the getting rid of cash, mostly because of corruption, tax evasion and counterfeit currency in circulation. Most Indians get paid in cash and stash their cash at home vs depositing into a Bank Account. Just two years ago, it was reported that approximately 233 million Indians do not have a account at all.

In November 2016, the war on cash in India began when $500 and $1000, worth $7 and $15 respectively, were deemed illegal currency. Shock overtook India as they grappled with with news and made plans to join snake-like queues at every bank and ATM in order to exchange their cash.

Listen to this pod cast regarding recent firsthand experiences from India and explanation why the action taken in India might just end up working – Surprise! Your Cash Is Now Worthless

A digital explosion has begun… Digital is the future!

India’s Demonetization Is Causing Bitcoin To Surge Inside The Country with volume and the price of Bitcoin soaring. 

Many believe demonetization was the push Indians needed to go Digital India even though there was much pain and suffering and question regarding the way it was done.

The People of India’s hand has been forced and everyone needs to join the new digital economy, as a matter of survival.  Moving swiftly towards a Cashless India with a mission statement as follows “The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. “Faceless, Paperless, Cashless” is one of professed role of Digital India”

A prerequisite for going digital is access to the internet.  63% of India’s population is under the age of 35 years, 800 million mobile connections and over 200 million internet users.

Smart phone penetration in India is a growing and competitive market with the biggest players Samsung, Lenovo/Motorola, Micromax, Xiaomi and Reliance Jio.  Graph source – Statista

In order to be a part of the Digital India, one of the first steps would be to create an online wallet.

“Over the past four years, mobile wallet transactions have jumped from Rs 10 billion of transactions in 2012-’13 to more than Rs 490 billion in the year 2015-’16, and are estimated to rise to Rs 1,210 crore by 2019. Lack of cash has caused Paytm to become a household name now. From tea stalls to cabs, people are warming up to the idea of e-money and mobile wallets are a pretty elegant alternative to dealing with cash.” as reported by DailyO

Paytm is India’s largest mobile commerce platform. Paytm started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments and now it offers a full marketplace to consumers on its mobile apps – Click here for website

As Bitcoin is a digital currency and known as the Internet of Money, it fits perfectly into the new digital economy.  Many people are buying Bitcoin with the Paytm online wallet via Paxful and Localbitcoins.  

Unocoin is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in India, they offer an integration service with merchants and do not charge any fees to customers for accepting Bitcoin as payment.  Here is a list of merchants who have integrated a Bitcoin payment system into their business.

Bitcoin itself cannot be regulated however, Bitcoin enterprises can.  In a move towards self-regulation, leading Indian Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Unocoin and Coinsecure have formed an industry-wide organization called the Blockchain and Virtual Currency Association of India.  

Bitcoin mining difficulty level is high and for this reason and individuals cannot mine Bitcoin from their home computers anymore.  Enthusiasts can invest in mining equipment and join a Bitcoin Mining Pool in India such as GBMiners.  Learn more about the Bitcoin Mining potential in India using Government’s new power plan.

Cybersecurity is vital so to ensure your Bitcoin are kept safe, you need a Swiss Bank In Your Pocket!

India is moving into the Digital Economy at a fast pace.  India’s Securities Regulator Plans Fintech Advisory Committee to Bolster Investment Economy.  The aim is to make it easier for everyday citizens to turn their savings into investments in a heavily paper-reliant economy.  Could we see a Bitcoin ETF in India soon?

Learn more about Bitcoin Adoption in India.

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Embrace the new digital economy, do not get left behind!

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