Are We Ready for Gold 2.0, i.e. Bitcoin?

India is the second most populous country with a large mobile and internet user base. It is also one of the countries receiving the highest foreign remittance. On the other hand, India also has a considerable number of unbanked population. All these conditions are ideal for the implementation of bitcoin based financial services and products to meet the requirements.

However, in spite of having all the right conditions for bitcoin to thrive, India still falls behind when it comes to bitcoin adoption. The country with second largest population has just a handful of bitcoin businesses. Various attributes of bitcoin are compared with that of gold. The digital currency shares lots of similarities with the property of gold and it is also known as digital gold or gold 2.0 among the cryptocurrency circles.

Even though the country is known for its obsession with gold and jewelry, the digital version of the same – Bitcoin has not received the same interest in the subcontinent. This trend was also observed by the chairman of Bitcoin Foundation, Brock Pierce who was visiting India to participate in the SingularityU India Summit.

Brock Pierce went on to reiterate the advantages of bitcoin compared to other conventional services. He drove the point home by stating the example of money remittance services. It is known that money remittance services sometimes charge anywhere between 10-14 percent of the total funds transferred as transaction fees and it may vary depending upon the region from which the funds are sent. Bitcoin, due to its low transaction fees, can be an attractive alternative for people. They can save a lot on transaction fees when they use bitcoin for remittance than conventional fund transfer methods.

On the other hand, the Indian bitcoin community, as well as the central bank, are being proactive on the topic of digital currency. Indian bitcoin companies have already received international recognition and they are working within the prescribed framework applicable for money transfer and payments business, even though there are no specific regulations in this regard yet. Even the Reserve Bank of India has called for ideas and products involving blockchain technology for anti-counterfeiting and fraud prevention measures.

Ref: ET

Subscribe to our newsletter

The century old tech firm, IBM has been at the forefront of almost all the technological revolutions to date. The company doesn’t want that to change now. After realizing the potential of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology, the company forayed into crypto-tech and it has been working with governments and other institutions in this regard.

Recently, IBM has decided to make use of its tech expertise to create blockchain based solutions for the financial sector. Blockchain offers a time and cost efficient method to conduct financial transactions.

According to recent reports, the company is considering the usage of blockchain technology for user authentication purpose as one of the applications. IBM recently expressed its interest to work with Hyperledger, a collaborative effort of various tech and bitcoin companies in association with Linux Foundation. IBM will be making the codes for its blockchain application available for the Hyperledger program.

Once the codes are made available on Linux platform as an open source project, developers will be able to build upon those projects to create applications specific to various use cases. Banks and financial institutions across the world are already invested in developing blockchain based applications for their operations. However, none of the Indian banks have so far publicly ventured into these domains.

The Reserve Bank of India had earlier acknowledged the importance of blockchain technology and how it can be used to combating the influx and use of counterfeit financial instruments. The Reserve Bank of India has also recently announced a competition, where it calls for individuals and teams to work on developing blockchain based fintech solutions. The winners of this competition will be awarded prizes.

It is a great time for entrepreneurs, startups, independent developers and existing Indian bitcoin companies to work on developing blockchain based solution for the Indian banking and fintech sector.