Bitcoin: Blockchain eyes India

Post-note ban, the country witnessed surge in digital currencies, says Cary

September 12, 2017 12:41 am | Updated 12:41 am IST - NEW DELHI

Nicolas Cary

Nicolas Cary

Post-demonetisation, India has become one of the fastest growing markets for digital currencies like bitcoin, according to Nicolas Cary, co-founder and president of Blockchain, the largest software provider for crypto-currencies in the world.

“Post-demonetisation, India became the fastest growing economy to witness a surge in use of digital wallets in daily transactions,” said Mr. Cary.

“We recently raised series B funding earlier this summer, with investors, including Google Ventures and Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group), among others,” Mr. Cary told The Hindu . “One of the things we wanted to do was to use some of that capital to invest in one of the most exciting markets in the world. India for us presents a unique opportunity so we can bring affordable digital financial services to as many people as possible.”

Blockchain announced a partnership with Unocoin — one of the largest crypto-currency platforms in India — to enter the Indian market. While in India, Unocoin processes transactions worth more than ₹600 million every month for its over four lakh customers, Blockchain’s global platform has upwards of 16.5 million users.

“According to a recent report, 2,500 Indians are investing in bitcoin daily, which makes India one of the top contenders for becoming the largest market for cryptocurrency.”

“The digital strategy the Indian government has pursued is in alignment with some of the things we see happening [across the world] as well, which is that, once you can use technology to do things easier and more affordably, then in the long run people will end up eventually going in that direction,” Mr. Cary added.

“Half of the users we have in India are using the platform to make remittance payments, which are cross-border international transactions,” Mr. Cary said. “It’s so inconvenient today to use legacy transaction networks and legacy banks to do some basic things like send money from London to India. So, we are seeing a lot of adoption for that kind of thing as well.”

Industry body

“One of the things we are seeing happening in India that we are supportive of is an industry body that has been formed, where technology companies have come together to create a dialogue with the Finance Ministry,” Mr. Cary said.

“It’s called the Digital Assets and Blockchain Foundation India. It’s establishing best practices for consumer protection and regulation in general,” he said.

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