An Indian startup plans to become the Paytm of cryptocurrencies in India.
Bitcoin has been gaining popularity in one of the most populous countries in the world, India. The digital currency is backed by the Blockchain technology, which has established itself as the driver and backbone in many fields.
Both Bitcoin and Blockchain technology have been around since 2009 when Bitcoin emerged on the world stage and have steadily impacted the financial services industry and how it delivers products and services. Recently The Hindu Business Line, an Indian newspaper, quoted Nicolas Cary, President of Blockchain, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin Software Company as saying:
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen unprecedented activity and growth in India. We think India could be the most significant market in the world for digital financial services. Within the next five years, it can potentially be bigger than that of the US.”
However, what will it take for India a country with 22 major languages, a billion plus people a geographic span of 3.2 mln kilometers to get onboard the Blockchain revolution?
India needs specific solutions and BitIndia, a company that is promising to deliver a Blockchain wallet and decentralized crypto exchange “for the streets of India,” is emerging as an India centric platform that can act as a driver for the growth of both cryptocurrencies and Blockchain in the subcontinental country.
Indian solutions for India
The Indian market is so diverse and segmented that products and services that do not take an Indian hue and color often fail to impress the local populace. It is also important to understand that the rural population of the country is as high as 68 percent and constitutes a significant economic backbone of the country.
Back in the 1990s when India was undergoing what the local media dubs as ‘liberalization’ of the economy, newly-launched MTV played English music and had only English speaking VJs. Fast forward to today — MTV in India has completely taken a ‘regional’ hue. Businesstoday described the TV channel as neither ‘fish nor fowl.’
Localization and understanding of the market is the key to success for any business in the country and BitIndia is well aware of that. In a whitepaper, they underscore their approach towards the Indian market:
“BitIndia wants to create a user-friendly, secure, decentralized atmosphere for India so that people can carry everyday transactions through BitIndia wallet. BitIndia further envisions to reach out to every person in India, starting from urban areas to educate at least 20 percent of the population about Blockchain and cryptocurrency.”
Can BitIndia be the Paytm of digital money in India?
BitIndia is emerging as a total financial platform that provides users with a mobile wallet for their Apple and Android devices as well as their web browsers and allows them to store cryptocurrencies securely. They are also working on building an ‘instant exchange,’ which will allow people to transact between digital currencies and the local currencies — this even as the user will have complete control over their private keys.
An Alpha version of the product will be available for download by the end of 2017. The currencies that will be traded on the platform include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. BitIndia wants to offer comprehensive services for users, who can buy, sell and save in digital currencies, allow merchants to accept payments with very reasonable and low transaction fees and help traders find opportunities to profit from cryptocurrencies.
If BitIndia can reach 20 percent of the Indian population as is their stated aim they would be in a position to challenge established players like Paytm, who have already found a niche in the sprawling Indian market. Keep in mind only 0.5 percent of Indian population currently transacts in digital currencies according to BitIndia.
A strong India centric team backed by John McAfee
Cointelegraph covered recently how BitIndia is supported by John McAfee, the founder of the famous McAfee Antivirus. McAfee’s confidence is not misplaced as BitIndia has built a strong team to deliver their platform to the Indian public. John McAfee acts as a partner and advisor in BitIndia.
Sahil Kohli, the CEO of BitIndia knows cryptocurrencies and has a strong background in crypto trading. Kohli is also the co-founder of Applancer.co. Saumil Kohli, Founder of BitIndia, has co-founded two tech companies and also has a crypto trading background. The technology lead is Kunal Nandwani, the founder and CEO of uTrade Solutions, a company operating in the financial trading domain. BitIndia have found support in a strong advisory team which includes Reuben Godfrey, co-founder of the Blockchain Association of Ireland, Victor Wong, CEO of Sparkle Coin and others.
Rearing to go post token sale
BitIndia have recently concluded a token distribution and launched their ERC 20 compatible BitIndia token. They are planning to launch token trading by December 2017. Their roadmap indicates that they would like to create a future in which 25 percent of the global Blockchain trading will occur in India. Not an unlikely scenario if India is to surpass the US as the biggest digital financial services market in the world. The potential is there, the conditions are ripe, and we will all just have to wait and see if BitIndia can snag the opportunity and become the Paytm of digital money in India.
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Author: Shivdeep Dhaliwal