Indian bitcoin startup Zebpay has raised $1 million in funding from several investors in the country. The funds will be used to promote the cryptocurrency in the country of over a billion people and in the setting up of a dedicated blockchain laboratory for research.
Indian bitcoin wallet startup Zebpay, has successfully raised a second round of funding of $1 million for the primary goal of promoting bitcoin in India.
There are no current laws in the country that deem Bitcoin trading or accepting bitcoins as an illegal act. Incidentally, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently endorsed the potential of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology to usher in a major transformation in financial markets compared to current legacy systems.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Zebpay co-founder Saurabh Aggarwal stated:
The environment in India for cryptocurrency is extremely positive and we are planning to utilize the amount to promote bitcoins as a reliable currency and investment option, enlist more e-vouchers on our mobile platform to expand our user base from 25,000 to 100,000 within the next year. Ultimately [Zebpay will] become a payment gateway.
Aggarwal also added that a ‘significant’ portion of the funding will be used to set up a dedicated blockchain laboratory. The laboratory will be a working junction to tap into blockchain-based applications and innovate new measures of authentication and transaction authorizations.
Fiat wallet services and payments via mobile apps are seeing a tremendous growth rate in the country lately and there is plenty of potential for Bitcoin to catch on, if more people learn about the cryptocurrency. Raising awareness is likely to be a key endeavor and investment.
Amit Jindal, a member on the advisory board of Zebpay and one of the investors who participated in both rounds of funding said bitcoin awareness among Indians is ‘extremely low’.
“However, it is still an attractive investment destination because [in] one or two years [further] down the line, the prospect of cryptocurrency is promising,” he added.
Jindal, the managing director of Jindal Worldwide invested over $100k in the first round of funding before pooling in another $150k in the second completed round. Another prominent investor Arjun Handa, managing director of Claris Life Sciences with an investment of $450k, also a member of the board.
In a television interview during the end of 2014, the Governor of the RBI, Raghuram Rajan, endorsed the future of a cashless society, one wherein virtual currencies will rule supreme. While citing security and volatility as the shortcomings of the cryptocurrency, he claimed that Bitcoin “is fascinating”.
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