Since the beginning of 2015, the Indian bitcoin industry has seen an emergence of payment services platforms and cryptocurrency exchange services providers.
Startups including Zebpay and Coinsecure have begun to gain popularity among Indian investors and corporations in search for alternative assets and properties.
Interestingly, bitcoin exchange and wallet service provider Zebpay co-founder and chief operating officer Sandeep Goenka stated in a recent interview that an increasing number of investors and companies are gearing toward bitcoin as an asset and as an investment.
“One can park money in the wallet in the hope that the value of bitcoins would go up. So in a way, it is like an asset class,” said Sandeep Goenka, co-founder and chief operating officer, Zebpay.
Unlike many other countries, bitcoin’s legality in India is still left undecided. The law enforcement and regulators have not implemented or drafted any policies to regulate the circulation of the digital currency in the economy.
“In fact, the law firm headed by Nishith Desai who is also an advisor to several big companies, and to us, has published a white paper on it explaining that no regulation in the country point out that it is illegal,” added Goenka.
Investors have also started to recognize bitcoin as a stable and profitable investment. According to Goenka, many companies and investors considered bitcoin as a financial bubble since the Mt. Gox incident and the price surge in 2013. However, the bitcoin industry and ecosystem in India changed significantly and an increasing number of merchants, businesses and investors are shifting toward bitcoin.
Due to the spike of interest in bitcoin, bitcoin startups including Zebpay has experienced a substantial growth of its user base, trading volume and sale of bitcoin related products including shopping vouchers and bitcoin top up methods.
“The trading volume has jumped from Rs 10 lakh a month a few months ago to Rs 10 crore a month whereas the non-trade volume which includes recharges, shopping vouchers etc has also jumped growing 40 per cent month on month. Our ambition is to become a global wallet player powered by bitcoin,” said Goenka.
Just a few months ago, Zebpay was struggling to find new users and clients. Currently, Zebpay is seeing around 3,000 to 4,000 new users every month and supports more than 25,000 users in India alone. In the upcoming months, the bitcoin startup plans to continue its momentum by launching new services and features to help bitcoin enthusiasts in the country.