Bitcoin Ecosystem in India Needs to Grow up, Big Time!

It is time for Bitcoin exchanges serving the Indian market to up their game or lose out on the little quorum of existing customer base. India is forecasted to be one of the largest Bitcoin markets in terms of potential. The country is still waking up to the Bitcoin revolution with a small percentage of population already using Bitcoin for transactions, remittances and also trading. Given a large promise shining in the immediate future, it is high time the Bitcoin Companies in India get to work, with enthusiasm and intensity each morning.

Bitcoin Exchanges in India, Homegrown and International

As the number of Bitcoin users continues to grow, the exiting handful of Bitcoin exchanges in India are still in the process of learning as they get bigger. While it is understandable for homegrown Bitcoin exchanges to grow slowly, but surprisingly big international players catering to the Indian market don’t seem to be doing any better when it comes to facilitating smooth exchange and transactions.

The ‘Indian Bitcoin Chain’ Is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

The recent issue with Blockchain where miners ended up building upon invalid blocks after they failed to verify the blocks seems to have further compounded the issue. Currently India has three major Bitcoin exchanges catering to the majority of Bitcoin users and at this moment only one of them seems to be handling things efficiently.

READ MORE: Indian Bitcoin Companies Are Finding Ways to Engage Their Customers

It is essential for the players in Indian Bitcoin industry to pull their socks up and ensure seamless service if they want to increase Bitcoin adoption in the country. It is hard to retain a first time Bitcoin user if his first experience turns out to be a bad one. It is time for the industry to realize that their business depends on more users and the only way to convince more people to adopt Bitcoin in a risk averse environment is to improve their experience.

Miles to Go before They Sleep

All is not lost yet, as the homegrown companies are slowing building up strategic partnerships and becoming more self-sufficient. If it continues, then we can expect some world class service from these start-ups. Increasing competition from new players entering the domestic market will heat things up and accelerate the growth of the Indian Bitcoin ecosystem. Competition brings efficiency. Time can answer this post, as we enter late 2015 and early 2016, which is believed to be a great time for Bitcoin in general. How India capitalizes on this momentum is unto the Bitcoin companies in India.

READ MORE: Indian Banker Sees Potential in Disruptive Finance Technologies

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The number of Bitcoin and Blockchain based start-ups are gradually increasing around the world. Blockchain technology has proven to be one of the most versatile technologies till date, which can disrupt the way a lot of industries currently work. Blockchain technology was originally created to act as a ledger for Bitcoin transactions across the network, but soon the technology was adopted for uses other than Bitcoin transactions.

As people catch up with changing times, it is necessary to make them understand about digital currency and the technology behind it. It will make the process of transition easier and increases Bitcoin adoption among the masses. Bitcoin Centers are established in various cities around the world to serve as Bitcoin information centers and also to facilitate the development and growth of start-ups.

Chicago has now become the latest city to get its own Bitcoin Center. Establishment of the new Chicago Bitcoin Center was announced yesterday during the Inside Bitcoins Conference. According to the announcement, the new Bitcoin Center is located in 1871. Named after the year of the great Chicago fire, 1871 is the home of over 300 technology start-ups in the city. Chicago Bitcoin Center couldn’t have asked for a better location as it aims to provide incubation services for Bitcoin based start-ups and entrepreneurs as well.

Chicago Bitcoin Center already has 4 confirmed Bitcoin based start-ups that are working from its premises. These start-ups include OasisCoin — A Bitcoin based remittance service provider, Red Leaf– Bitcoin ATMs operator, Gildera — offers merchant services and Bloq — working on Blockchain based data management applications.

The Chicago Bitcoin Center is being partially funded by Tally Capital, a local venture capital firm which is interested in encouraging and investing in Blockchain technology based start-ups. Start-ups supported by Chicago Bitcoin Center will receive office space in the premises along with opportunity to connect with local innovators and entrepreneurs who are part of the start-up ecosystem.

Gone were the days when business meant big corporations with lots of money and clout. The advent of internet and easy access to knowledge and technology has levelled the corporate playing field. People with entrepreneurial tendency are taking a bold step forward to start their own companies where they make ground breaking products. If you know about Uber, Airbnb even Facebook and Telegram messenger then you will know how they came about. They were all start-ups that were born in small places with a small team. These companies are examples of some of those which became big and famous really fast.

There are many entrepreneurs, young and old alike who have stopped following the age old tradition of working for a company to start their own venture. Thanks to such people we have a prolific start-up community across the world. Few countries like the United States, United Kingdom and India are full of thousands of start-ups, with more waiting to follow the path.

READ MORE: Bitcoin Industry is Just Getting Started

Start-ups usually keep up with the emerging trends to develop new products that addresses the needs of ever changing society. They bring about disruption in tried and tested business models to offer something which is completely new and more effective.

Bitcoin for example is one such area which is seeing a lot of start-ups emerge. Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world in 2008 it has grown exponentially leading to wide spread adoption of not just bitcoin as a digital currency but the technology behind bitcoin, namely Blockchain as well. Technology enthusiasts and entrepreneurs have taken to this technology like fish to water. This has led to development of a wide range of Bitcoin based applications that can be incorporated into our day-to-day life. Some of these applications have the potential to bring about drastic changes to the existing systems, especially in the banking, finance, record management, governance, law, intellectual property and many other sectors.

Creating new technologies and applications related to these technologies, especially if they can bring about a huge change in the existing system is not an easy task. There are lot of challenges and roadblocks that these start-ups have to overcome before their solutions are accepted universally. For Bitcoin related start-ups and applications, these hindrances take the form of governments, big corporations and regulations targeted towards Bitcoin as a digital currency and technology.

Starting with the initial fear of the unknown concept of a digital currency not backed by any governing authority to banks and governments fearing loss of control over the economy and population have been playing a role in hindering the pace of growth and development of Bitcoin applications and businesses. Take New York State’s BitLicense for example, a set of rules and regulations that has got many cryptocurrency start-ups and businesses rethink their markets. Some of these companies like and Eobot have pulled out of the State of New York because of BitLicense.

READ MORE: How Will BitLicense Pan out for New York?

If it’s any consolation, we can be sure that the development will go on, people will find ways to circumvent or overcome these challenges and continue working on creating new applications and improving the technology itself. It is because of such perseverance on the part of entrepreneurs and start-ups we are seeing the technology outgrow these fears and making itself heard. Bitcoin and the companies that work on/with Bitcoin and Blockchain technology which has forced the banks and governments to acknowledge its potential. Banks, financial institutions and governments are now embracing Bitcoin and Blockchain after realising that it is that time when you either hop into the bus or miss it. Missing the Bitcoin bus is no longer an option as it may result in them becoming obsolete.

The day is not far when Bitcoin technology, which is simple yet advanced becomes part of everybody’s way of life.