by Joseph Young
Bitcoin has begun to gain mainstream traction in India, a country with one of the world’s lowest credit card penetration rate and largest underbanked population.
Over the past few years, Bitcoin experts and enthusiasts have emphasized the market potential in severely underbanked countries like India and Indonesia, considering the rapidly increasing smartphone adoption rate and domestic remittance market in these two countries.
“There are several large economies with low levels of credit card penetration, including China and India. That lack of use can be explained by their low level of economic development. As those countries develop, they are likely to use credit cards more intensely,” a section from a report entitled “Credit Card Market: Economic Benefits and Industry Trends” read.
Similar to many other developing countries in the Southeast Asian region, the Indian population has always struggled to send money around the country, due to the complicated procedure required by established financial institutions and expensive remittance solutions.
Such inefficiency and limitation of existing banking and financial systems have allowed Bitcoin to capitalize on an opportunity in providing Indian residents and merchants a cost-effective, fast, and secure payment network which anyone can use without credit requirements.
“Bitcoin startups are increasing across India,” the country’s largest Bitcoin exchange Coinsecure founder Benson Samuel told BTCMANAGER in an exclusive interview. “Coupled with a startup friendly ecosystem in place, we do see a dramatic increase in volumes and participation in the Bitcoin space across India. Awareness has drastically increased across India as well. Almost every event that we get to address, has a huge number of hands that go up when we inquire about Bitcoin awareness to the audiences.”
One vital factor behind the rapid growth of the Indian Bitcoin industry is the solid Bitcoin infrastructure and ecosystem in the country provided by established Bitcoin startups, wallet platforms, and exchanges like Coinsecure. The Bitcoin firm, which initially started out as a trading platform for Indian Bitcoin users has evolved into a goto platform for both mainstream users and merchants. With seamless API in place for simple integration and powerful solutions for merchant, the Coinsecure has been working hard to provide Bitcoin services that are not present in the Indian Bitcoin ecosystem.
Operating as the leading Bitcoin startup in a fast growing market, Coinsecure has observed a growing demand from conventional investor towards bitcoin. In January 2015, the exchange recorded a monthly trading volume of totaled a fairly small amount of 47.8 BTC. In January of 2016, the company has reported a monthly trading volume of 1422 BTC, recording a staggering 96.6% annual increase in trading volume.
Samuel further emphasized that mainstream merchants are beginning to recognize Bitcoin as a viable payment option for their customers. He firmly believes that it is only a matter of time before mainstream partners agree to accept bitcoin.
“Mainstream merchants are slowly learning about services such as ours, where we bring volatility down to a virtual 0. I do believe that it is only a matter of time before global reach and savings will convince mainstream partners to get more involved and provide the monetary solution for their customers,” he added.
Recognizing the incredibly fast growth of Bitcoin in the country, Coinsecure has also appointed Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley as Global Business Development Head to help the team expand its international and mainstream presence by connecting with global players.
As Bitcoin startups in India disperse throughout severely underbanked regions in the country, it is Coinsecure’s aim to help mainstream users and merchants embrace Bitcoin as an independent currency and a decentralized payment network.