Chasing the Bitcoin train in India has been a challenge beyond expectations. Of course, no one expected this to be easy. The patterns that emerged from Europe, US & China have been similar to the patterns across India. Mining interest came first, followed by Exchanges, and now eCommerce has started, possibly to be followed by gaming.
Lightspeed Ventures, Maninder Gulati’s prediction of USD $100 mn rolling into the Bitcoin ecosystem through VC funds promises to make 2014 a year to reckon with. It would be great to see a percentage of those funds reaching India.
So, where exactly are the legendary technology people from India? Agreed that the world has seen tremendous contribution from them, but what about India. Several global Bitcoin startups have emerged with Indians at the helm. But hardly any have grown out of India. Where does the problem lie?
The lack of clarity in regulation could be a large part of the problem, apart from Bitcoin being rendered as an investment vehicle above all else. Most Asian Countries have stayed cautious towards Bitcoin as its gaze grows stronger over these regions as well. India, not to be underestimated, engages some of the strictest capital controls. Tough as it can be to get money into Indian businesses, it is just as hard to purchase things from outside.
Bitcoin brings a level playing field in this space as crowd funding projects for Crypto in India becomes easier, as crypto currencies are as global as email. Several Crowd funding platforms exist where any project that is well thought of can be funded from around the world. This is another use case for Bitcoin in India, where the world gets to vote on a project to succeed.
There are millions of other uses that are gaining traction with 2.0 protocols coming to life in the form of Etherium, hybrid alt-coins, Open Transactions and several other innovative products based around this vibrant technology. These are still at a stage of early adoption and are in dire need of ecosystems to grow.
Highkart seems to be a great step in the right direction for India. A superb effort from a Delhi group of entrepreneurs, this is a great move towards building up the blocks that will form a stronger case for the community to use as a value addition. Everyday products that can easily be purchased by Bitcoins, makes for a pressing statement. Lower transaction fees and a better control over the customer cycle enables businesses like this to grow quickly and stimulate the economy.
Greater innovation is demanded in this ultra fast world of Cryptcurrencies, where we have total control over our audience and effort. The world has come a long way from the time of exchanging shells and we finally have reached a solution where a certain form of democratic money has been achieved. There are specific implementations that can be achieved through colored coins and decentralized verification systems; These will rapidly change the way we identify with all facets of the future.
As the regulatory authorities failed to provide any form of clarity, suggestions, open discussions or direction towards Bitcoin trading, a strong movement to gain clarity has arisen from Hyderabad. Led by Badravada Venugopal, the ‘fan’ of Bitcoin has filed a notice through Chaitanya Associates from Bangalore to gain answers from the regulatory authorities. An Independent effort, this is a testament to the effort in place to gain some ground across India. The PDF copy of the notice can be found here.
The community in India moves on, with active meetup groups across 6 cities and a growing sense of urgency to grab a piece of the pie. India needs its fair share of Bitcoin and the longer we delay, the harder it gets to catch up with the rest of the world. Cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy and have not yet reached their potential. If current laws are applied to a future technology, no one is going to get it right.
To learn more about Bitcoin and to get started, do check with Coinsecure’s chat support. This service runs from 10:30am to 5:30pm IST and is aimed mainly at Indians who want to learn about getting started with Bitcoin.