It all started in 2013. There is a meet up that even runs today which used to happen weekly to discuss the advantages and challenges of bitcoin, while the newcomers used to get convinced about the future of bitcoin but there was no place to buy the bitcoin in India like there were in developed countries like US and Canada. So that gave rise to the idea of Unocoin. Now Unocoin is staffed with 42 superstars and provides the bitcoin trading platform and merchant gateway services to India.
The Unocoin journey so far…
Quite eventful and we have seen the continued growth all around. Please share the changes you have seen take place in the various stakeholders’ (consumers predominantly) understanding of Bitcoin through this time.
In 2014, we had to explain what bitcoin is before we introduce our company to a common man. But it has changed now – thanks to the media to educate a common man about bitcoin. If we just say that we are a trading platform for bitcoin in India – a lot of people are just able to understand.
Regulation of cryptocurrencies is the most talked-about problem. You recently announced self-regulation with other players like Zebpay. How are you setting the benchmarks?
Presently all the players already have their own self-regulation. We were the first one to put it in place when we started in 2013 and the rest of the industry follows it now. The organization that we are putting together in the name Digital Assets and Blockchain Foundation of India (DABFI) will be coming up with a uniform regulatory framework and this would be adopted by members of this association. The process would take a couple of quarters but the players believe that this is the way to go forward.
Apart from other players, which other stakeholders do you need to consider and bring on board for this self-regulation to be successful?
We are not restricting just to bitcoin companies but also considering the industries where blockchain as a technology can be used as well. So this gets in the banks, financial institutions, CA and CS, lawyers, and even the present or retired members of regulatory bodies would all add value in creating the self-regulations.
Which geographic areas do you see maximum Bitcoin trades & exchanges from? What is the demographic like? How do they first end up getting interested in Bitcoin trading?
Usually be the metropolitan cities that have the maximum trades, specifically Delhi and Mumbai. A good amount of them buys bitcoin as a part of trading activity while others are seeing the utilization as the value in this digital currency.
Where are Bitcoin and UnoCoin heading in the next 3 years? Any perceived challenges that you are preparing for?
Even 1 year is quite a long term for the bitcoin industry to predict. But if we see the past years, the future looks quite promising as well with more and more people flocking to this new technology. The challenge in bitcoin is usually educating the masses and explaining how to secure the bitcoin when they get to have some.