Jeff Garzik makes up for a substantial portion of the Bitcoin development team. Self-described as a Husband, father, Linux kernel, cloud computing, Bitcoin, armchair foreign policy nerd & kinda sorta libertarian.
Jeff Garzik is an American Red Hat engineer and Bitcoin developer. He studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology and currently is employed by Red Hat as a kernel developer. He is also the founder of BitcoinWatch, a website for statistics in Bitcoin. Garzik wrote the original push-pool daemon used by all of the pooled miners today. He’s also the original author of ethtool. As an advocate of Austrian economics, Garzik argues that the deflationary aspect of Bitcoin makes it a superior currency and that the decentralized nature means it’s a fairer means of commerce.
Bitcoins technical side has been covered in great volume, so I requested a few opinions from Jeff Garzik during our discussion below.
Chinwag with Jeff Garzik
Question: What is the most non-technical way to explain Bitcoin?
Answer: A global Internet currency with no central bank or controlling authority.
Question: When is Bitcoin-qt likely to come out of Beta?
Answer: When “lightweight client” mode is fully functional and tested.
Perhaps a year or two.
Question: Do you see Bitcoin as the end product or are there forked technologies that may take over as the anonymous currency of choice?
Answer: Bitcoin is just the beginning of a brand new category of algorithms. Bitcoin itself may fail, but it is the first of a new category of “crypto-currencies” based on the proof-of-work algorithm method.
Question: How is the Bitcoin development team funded?
Answer: Gavin Andresen is very recently employed full time by the BitcoinFoundation. All other developers are unpaid volunteers.
Question: What is your Vision on the future of money?
Answer: Bitcoin, the Euro, the US Dollar, China’s RMB will all exist on an even playing field. You may choose which type of currency you hold in your wallet, and transact with.
Question: Any thoughts on Bitcoin in India?
Answer: Would be great! Among other things, Bitcoin is great for low-fee remittances from relatives overseas to those at home.
2013 was expected to be a big year for Bitcoin in India, with small Exchanges emerging and IndiaBitcoin coming up fast as a one-stop-shop for Bitcoin in India. As Jeff’s last answer had suggested, remittance is a huge opportunity for Bitcoin in India and there is an initiative being planned for a service rollout this year as well.
Remittances is a growing market in India. Currently dominated by banks or Hawala operators (Interpol Hawala Document), Bitcoin can instantly change this market bringing about a tremendous positive change to the way remittances can occur. Thanks to the global ledger capabilities in the blockchain. This change can even be driven and adopted by the remittance companies and banks currently operating in India.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a surge of queries on my Blog’s public comment board and a stream of e-mails requesting help with a moot proposition. A moot proposition is a fictional case worked out by law students. During one of the moot propositions, Bitcoin made its debut. I am hoping to summarize some of those questions in this post below.
This article will outline the conversations between several students seeking more information on Bitcoins legal status and classification. Links have been provided at the end of this article for further reference, all of which have been studied thoroughly for traces of Bitcoins characteristics. A few of the discussions have already been recorded under the second half of the page’s comments at this link. I am also amending some of the answers that I had replied in order to summarize the posts.
The moot proposition that started it all can be downloaded here as a PDF file.
Summaries from different individuals, Some of the Questions that came up from this case were:
Question: My moot problem (which is fictitious) is based on a person being arrested for dealing in bitcoins. He exchanged 5000 bitcoins for Rs.36, 00, 000/- you seem to have a lot of knowledge on the subject. Was wondering if you could help? I haven’t really been able to grasp the concept of bitcoins to begin with, secondly as per your blog bitcoins are being mined in India and so could be considered a domestic currency. Is there a limit on how much you can transact of something to that effect?
Reply: Bitcoin can be considered a domestic currency, as it can be mined using Indian Electricity. It is a debatable topic. There are no transaction limits, however there is a finite number of Bitcoins that will ever be mined into existence. As the demand for Bitcoin increases, so will its value.
Question: I just want to know whether bitcoins are regulated by FEMA, 1999 or RBI regulations. If bitcoins purchased in a foreign nation and exchanging it to an authorised money exchanger in India without special or general permission from RBI amounts to an offence of money laundering?
Reply: It cannot come under FEMA because Bitcoins can be mined in India as well, Making it a domestic software. Anytime Bitcoin comes in Contact with Fiat, it moves into the grey are of the law. However cash and P2P networks are nearly impossible to regulate – Good example would be Bit torrent, we all know that it is used for illegal file sharing, but it cannot be shut down due to its decentralized nature. Even though the authorities and regulators know about it.
Question: If a person making transaction in Bitcoin is arrested by economic offences wing of police and charged for the offences of FEMA and prevention of money laundering stating that dealing with Bitcoin using fiat needs permission of RBI, then how could he defend himself from?
Reply: But where does it state by the RBI that Bitcoins cannot be used? Once again Bitcoin to Fiat rests in the grey area of the law. As far as money laundering is concerned, this is more prevalent with cash than Bitcoin. As long as taxes are paid and income is declared and nothing illegal is undertaken, why would Money Laundering come into the picture as well? There is nothing related to Bitcoin in any countries laws. Bitcoin was developed to solve these problem.
Does dealing in bitcoins violate the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 specifically Section – 3, 4, 7, 13 and moreover does it violate any Foreign trade and exchange laws or any RBI regulations or guidelines.
Is Bitcoin a currency under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and if not then why?
As Bitcoin can be mined in India itself, it cannot be classified as an International currency. Even if the coins are mined outside the country, it is very easy to mix the coins and anonymize the transaction. This typically cannot be regulated.
Bitcoin can be termed as a currency as can Rice and Salt. At the same time, all these currencies can be termed as commodities as well. Bitcoin is a unique set of characters which have value due to the fact that they are scare and hard to mine.
There is nothing like Bitcoin in any current Indian regulation.
Question: Can Bitcoins be termed as currency under the definition provided by FEMA. On this line, if we can prove that they are Currency and FEMA is attracted, then we can go on to say that some RBI regulations are required to make such currency legal in India. Therefore, mainly I wanted your opinion on the issue whether Bitcoins can be covered under the definition of currency provided under Section 2(h) of the FEMA.
Answer: Bitcoin is an item of trade used to buy and sell various goods and services. It is also a piece of software that can be sold or bought by anyone who puts a price on It gathers value from the users and people who create and mine Bitcoin. If a currency needs to be issued by a governing body the Bitcoin cannot be classified as a currency.
Bitcoin is a commodity and a currency. It is the same as Gold or Precious stones.
As Bitcoin is open source and unregulated, it is free game for everyone. It has been a tremendous investment in 2012 and surges forward in 2013 as well. Any government that decides to regulate, control or outlaw Bitcoin only faces the problem of creating more value in Bitcoin due to its uniqueness. Bitcoin is nothing more than a unique and secure way of sending a string of numbers from one person to another. Due to tremendous merchant adoption as a token of value, Bitcoin races the charts at all the global exchanges every single day. The Bitcoin network is the strongest combined computational force in existence. Strengthened by millions of users, this network cannot be hacked into or have any of its parameters changed.
The importance of leveraging the economics of Bitcoin is more valuable today than the technology side of it. It was compared to the internet by Aaron Koenig, when he said “Bitcoin is like the decentralized internet. Not everyone knows how the internet works, packet switching, TCP/IP, etc., but we all know how to use the internet. And we do it every single day.
I plan to stay on course with my dedication to Bitcoin, expanding into newer and deeper economics and application development. As long as Bitcoin is not used illegally and taxes are paid in a currency accepted by the Government, It is cross border open-banking at its finest.
With Indiabitcoin.com all set to integrate India with Bitcoin, one can only hope that more adoption will follow.
I caught up with the COO of Gogreensolar for a quick Chinwag on their initiatives and Business model.
Harold Tan: COO of Gogreensolar
1.Tell us a bit about your vision and mission for Gogreensolar.com.
Hi Benson, our vision is simple – change the world with green energy. Our environments are toxic, communities are exploited, and we’re on a collision course for a dead end if things don’t change. We’re here to help make that change, and our mission achieves it by bringing awareness and access to effective green energy solutions.
2.Would be great if we could see a graph of Gogreensolars growth since inception.
Unfortunately we can’t provide that graph, but we can say that we’re undergoing tremendous growth and can always utilize more team members!
3.How did you hear about Bitcoin? How did you’ll make the decision to go with it as a payment option?
From a good friend in the financial services industry. The values of Bitcoin and energy independence seem to be aligned. Bitcoin is a decentralized economic tool, and we see energy moving toward a decentralized model. We support systemic decentralization (like the internet), and partner with entities of similar values.
4.Any Bitcoin orders so far?
Yes! Big thanks to Redditors for helping get the word out. Sorry for any initial confusion on the checkout process, we’re waiting for Shopify integration to have the purchase experience completely seamless, but we definitely do accept Bitcoins for any orders by phone or email.
5.What plans are in store for 2013-2014?
We have some very big projects lined up with major municipalities that I can’t talk about quite yet. But it will make news headlines. We have a lot going on behind the scenes beyond just selling parts 😉 We are also in talks with traditional investors regarding these big projects, but are exploring new investment models like crowd-sourced funding.
6.Any plans to go international with Gogreensolar?
We currently already service international clients, but don’t have any physical presence overseas. If there’s anybody international reading this article that would like to partner, drop us a line!
7.Any partnerships planned in the near future?
Many! The growth of our business ultimately depends on partnerships and relationships. Without people, without an integrated web of support, we would just be another retail shop buying and selling matter. We’re here to do much more than that, we’re here to improve the way we produce and consume energy. Join us!
That was a nutshell of Gogreensolars plans, vision and dedication to Energy and Decentralization. I am hoping that a few Business cases can emerge based on this adoption of Bitcoin.
A superb event at the Centre for Internet & Society was organized on the 23rd of January 2013. The all star team at the CIS (http://cis-india.org/) was awesome at organizing this event for Bitcoin. Live Streaming, Mainstream Newspaper coverage and Twitter based Q&A made this the first Bitcoin Event in India that leveraged these mediums of information transfer.
Aaron Koenig gave a talk on the creation and use of Bitcoin, and on a payment system designed for the voting process of the Bitfilm Festival for Digital Film. Since the year 2000, the Bitfilm Festival has been showcasing films that use digital technology in a creative and innovative way. It takes place on the Internet. However, physical screenings of the films will be held in Bangalore and in Hamburg. Each of the 59 nominated digital animations has its own Bitcoin account, and users worldwide may vote by donating Bitcoins to the films they like anonymously and without any transfer costs. The donated money will be divided among the most popular films (the films with the most votes/Bitcoins).
A strong knowledgeable speaker, Aaron brought forward his tremendous knowledge of Bitcoin, Art & Economics.
The Twitter based Q&A can be viewed on the Twitter ID’s of
The Newspaper Articles where Bitfilm & Bitcoin made their news in India were
Blink.li is a new magazine that is in its 4th publication.
Blink is being maintained and published by the MD of Bitfilm.com
The main topic of new BLINK issue will be the new digital currency Bitcoin.
With articles by Thorsten Polleit, Rick Falkvinge, Mike Hearn, Dominic Frisby and many others.
Bitcoins will be used for the voting and as prize money for the Bitfilm Festival Awards
The Bitfilm Festival for Digital Film will be the first film festival worldwide that uses Bitcoins for its online voting and as prize money. Its opening event will take place in Bangalore at Jaaga Art Space (68, KH Double Road, Shantinagar) on January 17, 2013, 6.30 p.m. This event will mark the beginning of a worldwide online voting action for the Bitfilm Awards in 3D animation, 2D animation, hybrid digital films and Machinima (films shot live in computer games).The worldwide audience will decide which films will win the Bitfilm Awards, to be handed over at the Bitfilm closing event in Hamburg (Germany) in April, 2013.”Our closing event for 2011 was in Bangalore, and we have met so many interesting and creative people here, that we decided to come again to do our opening show this year”, explains Aaron Koenig, Bitfilm’s founder and director, who is in Bangalore for the Launch of the Competition.
Bitfilm has been showing films that use digital technology in a creative and innovative way since 2000. For the first time, Bitfilm will use the new digital currency Bitcoin for the voting process and as prize money. Each of the 59 nominated films has its own Bitcoin account, to which film fans may transfer money anonymously and without any transfer costs. The film with the highest number of donated Bitcoins and votes per category will receive the award. The donated money will be divided among the three best-ranked films per category.
“We are very fascinated by Bitcoin. It is a new kind of money, which has the potential to revolutionise the world as much as the Internet did” says Aaron Koenig. “Bitcoin is an open source currency that needs no central bank and knows no inflation. It is also a new worldwide payment system that makes money transfers around the globe cheap and fast.”
In Bangalore, Bitfilm will present a selection of 12 nominated films which represent a huge variety of genres and styles. There will also be a talk about an Indo-German co-production by Aaron Koenig and Vijayaraj D. from Bangalore, who have been working on a number of short animated films together, the most popular one is about Bitcoins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb0xHN1Dq7M
Mobilecozy came into the payments market earlier this year and have been pursuing an effective & steady drive to network and promote their white label mPOS product. They are currently in a pre-launch phase.
Sainath Gupta is founder & CEO of MobileCozy. An entrepreneur and businessman from a remarkably early age, Sainath is forging a path through rough regulated waters to simplify card payments.
Sainath Gupta, CEO Of Mobilecozy @sainathgupta
As with any software company, Mobilecozy is also working on a SaaS project with a European client. The project they are working on is an NFC + Bitcoin initiative. As a consultant to their Bitcoin project, I was requested to present Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin & Paradigm shifts in the Indian Payments ecosystem at the summit as part of a panel discussion.
Knowledgefaber is facts based consulting and research firm. With technology advancements, consumers today can pay for their transactions in more than one way. But 97% of people in India still complete their transactions using cash. This is seen by them as a huge opportunity for new methods & technologies for payments and is the reason behind this summit.
The summit aims to bring together experts from Prepaid, M payments, other payment players, BFSI, Payment tech enablers & software companies and discuss the way ahead.
The conference had a mix of traditional bankers and emerging payments companies in the audience.
The Panel Discussion
The topics of discussion were:
Emergence of new payment methods – How the increasing use and adoption of payment methods like prepaid cards, m-payments ( Mobile card readers, NFC based payment systems, mobile wallets etc.), electronic payment gateways and e-wallets are challenging incumbent methods (credit/debit cards etc.)
Payment landscape in developed v/s emerging countries – How the affluence and technology maturity in various countries affect the choices of payment methods (Special emphasis on India)
Which payment methods will face least resistance in terms of consumer adoption and why – globally and in India?
Which segment of new payment methods will see maximum competition? What will be the niche areas to target for new entrants?
How various entities/stakeholders, currently active in payment industries have to evolve to stay relevant? (Banks, Visa/Mastercard, Payment gateway companies, merchants etc.)
Conclusion: Identifying next winners in the payment industry – globally and in India.
I was honored to be a part of the panel which included:
Vipul Vohra – Engagement Manager at Knowledgefaber & Moderator
Neel Chowdhury – Co-founder and COO, Giftloop and Former CMO, Obopay
Kunnal Sharma – Business Head, Global Remittances, TimesofMoney
Bhavin Satikunvar – AVP, Internet and mobile banking, Dhanlaxmi Bank
Vipul Vohra started the discussion by presenting us with a few numbers from the global cash based economies.
USA has a cash usage of 60%.
EU has a cash usage of 78%.
India stands at 97% cash usage.
This outlines the number of opportunities for players who want to involve in the payments landscape. Electronic & Mobile wallets, gateways and micropayments are forming a strong area of opportunity.
Speaking about the global trends in payments, Kunnal painted a picture of the payment landscape in the US. He also spoke about mPesa in Kenya and how the landscape was shifting in India. He spoke about the history of payments and the evolutionary path.
He felt that people were not ready for Mobile in India and going mobile will not solve too many immediate problems. He had an approach which was to respond to demand rather than to create demand. He attempted to drop a few case studies similar to Brett Kings Bank 2.0 in terms of future bankers of our youth.
He spoke about the lack of infrastructure and the poor 3G networks in India. He mentioned that most phones in Japan were waterproof because most youth bring their phones to the shower. He felt that the RBI was progressive, supportive and willing to enable more players in the money market.
He reacted negatively when he heard about Bitcoin being open source. He mentioned “If trust and convenience is there, the payment industry lets you make money. I am of the firm opinion and I don’t really like the players who come to the market and say that it’s free to the consumer. No, the consumer wants to pay money. The payment industry need to make money at the end of the day and if we start to discount products, then the industry is not going to make money.”
Neel Choudhary @neelspeak
A thought leader in India today, Neel is the Co-Founder and COO for Giftloop. A social payments company, Giftloop is in a pre-launch stage. His vision for emerging payments rests with Mobile & Social payments.
He was vocal about the success of mPesa in Kenya and spoke of the issues regarding India. Adoption and Awareness are two areas of opportunity in India. He stressed on the security of Mobile Payments, when he stated correctly, ‘is Safer than Cash’. He feels that cash will never die, however transactions with cash will reduce.
Mobile payments will take off; it is only a matter of time. He feels strongly that mobile payments and mobile money will explode in India due to its 1.2B population. Neel rightly pointed out that technology builds are not a high cost problem these days.
He predicts social payments with mobile as a principal driver in payments. Collaboration will play a pivotal role in bringing in newer payment methods to challenge cash.
A banking veteran, Bhavin brought forward several consumer level problems such as ease of use and adoption. He maintained a non-opinionated stance and spoke about a progressive India. He mentioned areas of awareness as well. Customer on boarding is also a problem being faced by Banks today.
Bhavin rightly pointed out that the B2B payments market is yet to explode in India as well, and there is a dire requirement for it. The interchange charge reduction was also proposed by Bhavin.
He praised the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), mentioning that they were extremely cooperative and are working closely with Banks to encourage more initiatives to cover the unbanked population in India.
I presented my views of unbanked Indians. At 41% of the population unbanked, it is a huge opportunity for Cryptocurrencies and emerging payment methods. I spoke of the viral growth of Bitcoin in the recent years and its inevitable entry into India.
I mentioned the paradigm shift across the planet, bringing forth new technologies in banking such as Dwolla, Carrier billers and even the cash based network in Pakistan got a mention. Mobile money is inevitable. It is safer, faster, cheaper and more pervasive than cash or cards.
I spun a few heads when I went through a checklist of Bitcoins features.
No POS required.
Over US $ 100mn in circulation in just 3 years
Instant Money Transfer
Powerful P2P network
Global Ledger Book
No Double Spending
I finished my bit by evangelizing the movement of even lower income individuals from feature phones to Smartphone’s. Bitcoin & Mobile are here to stay was my prediction.
Inspiring to hear that the RBI is open yet cautious. ‘RBI is the most progressive regulator in the world.’ was stated by all my co-panelists. I would most certainly want to see what they have in store for Bitcoin in the coming years.
Needless to say that Bitcoin is way ahead of its time in India. The traditional bankers were certainly not ready for Bitcoin, and the emerging Payment companies had a smile when they heard about it.
Our 3rd Meetup in Bangalore
We wound up our 3rd successful Meetup with 5 Bitcoiners last Thursday. We discussed easy ways to get merchants to adopt Bitcoin and several points of true value were discussed during our meeting. A few monetary systems were discussed post which, we were teased with the knowledge that a working INR – BTC exchange was around the corner.
Post the Meetup I received a mail from a friend in a neighboring state requesting me to represent his company at an Emerging Payments Summit in Bangalore. Due to a last minute shift in plans, the CEO of the progressive mPOS solution company called Mobilecozy was unable to make it to the event.
In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of startups (most recently 84). The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, during which YC works intensively with them to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present to a large audience of investors. But YC does not end on Demo Day. YC and the YC alumni network continue to help founders for the life of their company, and beyond.
Coinbase is the first Bitcoin related company to get a shot in the arm through this funding. Totalling US$600K +, this is remarkably similar to the funding received by Facebook during its early days. Coinbase captures my attention due to its innovation and problem solving methods. Setting up shop in a fairly crowded Bitcoin space, Brian has been working meticulously on safe storage of Bitcoins, and an easy method to obtain them.
An Interview with the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong – CEO of Coinbase
Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase and a software engineer with the disruptive Airbnb. Touted as the PayPal for Bitcoin, here are some of Brian’s views.
Ben: Ever gave Bitcoin in India a thought? Is there a future? The biggest problem here is our inability to obtain Bitcoin.
Brian: I’d love to see Bitcoin in India and all over the developing world – in my mind this is one of the biggest opportunities for Bitcoin, to open up international trade (with low or zero fees) and provide an inflation proof currency to everyone in the world. I agree the ability to buy/sell Bitcoin is harder there, and also an opportunity.
Ben: What methods for adding funds are planned for Coinbase?
Brian: We’re starting with the buy/sell piece in the U.S. since it’s a larger market and it makes more sense if you have to pick one place to start. But we have a near term plan to open up the buy sell piece in developed countries (would rather not share details on this until it’s launched), and a longer term plan to open it up in more difficult places – probably by crowd sourcing it (again probably can’t say much more here).
Ben: How much time do you spend at work every day?
Brian: I normally work 8-12hrs a day on it, try to take time off on weekends.
Ben: When do you expect to move out of Beta? What more needs to be built?
Brian: We might move out of beta in a year or so, once we have a team and infrastructure build up.
Ben: Touted as the PayPal for Bitcoin; is that something that was on the initial drawing board?
Brian: The general idea was to build something that was trustworthy in the Bitcoin space and made things easier to use. This is a large undertaking and will take many years and many people, but it’s a fun project so I’m really enjoying it so far.
Coinbase is the first Bitcoin Company that was awarded a VC grant from YCombinator. Similar in value to the first funding of Facebook, time will tell us how effective Brian’s vision is.
What is the difference between Coinbase and every other Bitcoin wallet service?
There are several good online wallets for Bitcoin, and open source Bitcoin clients for the desktop.
Why should someone use Coinbase instead?
Here are a few ways Coinbase tries to be different:
They try to make Bitcoin easy to use for non-technical users. This means they avoid asking the user to deal with private keys, encryption, or any topics they might be unfamiliar to them.
They try to make buying and selling Bitcoin with your local currency as simple as possible.
They handle security and backups for you so don’t have to worry about losing your device, or forgetting to back it up.
(Note that all of these may not be built yet, but this is their goal for the product.) They understand there are a variety of users in the Bitcoin ecosystem from beginner to advanced, and they certainly do not claim to be the best solution for everyone.
What is the difference between Coinbase and PayPal?
Coinbase uses a different currency underneath (Bitcoin) which is a distributed, open-source protocol for transmitting money. Bitcoin is still relatively new, but they believe it is a good platform to build on top of due to the following properties:
Low (or zero) transaction fees
Payments arrive instantly (at about the speed of an email) and are confirmed within the hour
They try to make Coinbase easy to use and help avoid transaction fees when making payments.
Coinbase does not maintain fractional reserves, and as a company that has been crowd funded to the tune of US $600K +, Brian Armstrong has demonstrated his ability to garner trust. Trust has been a barrier in creating a more viral offering from Bitcoin and Coinbase is working hard on solving this problem as well.
Through the utilisation of a cold-storage offline facility to enable secure storage of Bitcoin, Coinbase is an important step in the correct direction.
I was approached by the director of Bitfilm.com, Aaron Koenig to pen my thoughts on Indo-German trade relations. Having worked with a Bangalore based animator and having paid him in Bitcoin, Aaron sees this as a strong step forward in building on this terrific platform of P2P payments. I would like to introduce him and Vijay from Credestudio, A Bangalore based animation studio. I managed to take some time from both gentlemen, to get their views on Bitcoin in India.
Aaron and Vijay worked on a 2 minute animated video for Bitcoin Deutschland GmbH. The video simplifies and animatedly explains the basics of Bitcoin. Watch this video if explaining Bitcoin to friends is a complex event.
Bitfilm specializes in producing moving image content for the Web and mobile devices, using their worldwide network of film and animation talents.
Here, are a few thoughts from Aaron Koenig (AK), director of Bitfilm.com
Aaron Koenig, Director of Bitfilm.com
Ben: How is Bitfilm funded?
AK: We are an independent, self-funded company. Our festival gets some public funding from the State of Hamburg, and we have worked with sponsors such as Apple, Nokia, Adobe, Microsoft and many others.
Ben: What is your span of viewership?
AK: We have a community of about 16,000 people; our festival receives entries from the whole world and film fans in the whole world participate in our online voting.
Ben: What is your roadmap for your organisation over the next 3 years?
AK: We do not plan so far ahead. In the next year our goal is to organise a kind of world tour of our festival. We will continue to work on animation production for the web and mobile devices, and we are happy to cooperate with animators from India.
Ben: What made you seek out a Bangalorean to work with on your video?
AK: We organised the closing event of our festival in Bangalore last year (at the Max Mueller Bhavan) and I also gave a course at the Sristhi College for two weeks. The head of animation of Srishti recommended Vijayaraj and his team, as we were looking for Indian animators to work with us on the Bitcoin film, as we know that in Indian you get high quality for relatively low budgets. I really enjoy working with them; they are very talented and efficient.
Ben: What are the most significant contributions that India can bring about to the Bitcoin community?
AK: Significant contributions can only be made by individuals, not by countries. I think that in India there are many talented, computer savvy people with a good business sense, so I am positive that many Indians will contribute to the development of Bitcoin in the future.
Ben: Who are the most influential people in the Bitcoin community today according to you and why?
AK: At the moment it is the core development team around Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Jeff Garzik, as Bitcoin is still mostly driven by the technology and a lot has still to be done to improve the technology.
But in the next phase it’s the creative entrepreneurs who will bring Bitcoin forward. Nobody knows yet who will be the ones to develop business models that bring a commercial breakthrough for Bitcoin, but I am looking forward to meet them.
Ben: What kind of technology and marketing partnerships are you willing to undertake to promote Bitcoins growth?
AK: Any kind. For the next festival we try to use Bitcoin both for the voting mechanism and as prize money. So we are looking for media partners and sponsors from the Bitcoin world. For international coproductions we are looking for animators who accept Bitcoins. I also run a political magazine (independent from Bitfilm); its next issue will focus on Bitcoin. We are still looking for writers and interesting topics for the next issue.
A man of few words, are a few thoughts from Vijay, the owner of Credestudio who accepts Bitcoin for his professional services for design and animation.
Vijayraj D, Owner of Credestudio
Ben: A short introduction to yourself and your work.
Vijay: Basically I am an Artist, I do art and animation related service.
Ben: Who are your key clients?
Vijay: Studio ERP in Bangalore, Hybridstudio in Chennai, KAB in USA, Bitfilm Germany.
Ben: What is your roadmap for your organisation over the next 3 years?
Vijay: Developing our IP content creation and film making
Ben: A thought or two on your introduction to Bitcoin.
Vijay: Bitcoin is the best and cheapest electronic currency so far.
Ben: How did Bitfilm come about to approaching you?
Vijay: They approached us from the Shristi school of design.
Ben: What are a few ways from your perspective that Bitcoin can be popularized in India?
Vijay: It is already getting popular, need more advertisement in India
Vijay signed off mentioning that he is open to working on more art and animation projects. He is open and comfortable with Bitcoin as a method of remuneration.
India is an emerging vision for Bitcoin. As the largest democratic community on the planet, diversity and tough banking regulations are sure to make Bitcoin a hit. With Jack Dorsey’s Square card readers going viral across the United States and several other mobile readers across the world, not only do we see the disruptive change in enabling the unbanked and under-banked, but more importantly, small merchants and individuals now come under the advertising platform of the phone. A short walk on any city street in Bangalore will tell tales about the invasion of the Smartphone.
Another strong case for Bitcoin in India is the talent and wealth of engineers. As the outsource hub of the world, we have no shortage of engineers and infrastructure. Imagine the cross-border software & service businesses that can ensure seamlessly though Bitcoin’s fee free network. When Bitinstants vision of a Bitcoin debit card comes to life, we could even see mom and pop stores in India take up cryptocurrency as an acceptable token of trade.
Do not hesitate to reach out to me to help connecting you to these visionaries of Bitcoin.