This Tuesday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced without prior warning that high-denomination rupee notes are to be taken out of circulation. Going cashless is the government’s attempt at a cure for corruption and “the disease of black money”, as unreported (and therefore untaxed) income is referred to in India.
To learn how Bitcoin fits into this vision, Finance Magnates spoke with Sathvik Vishwanth, the CEO of Unocoin, which recently implemented its first-ever API allowing companies from around the world to access the Indian Bitcoin market.
“This is a bold move, but there are enough challenges to over come for this to work. Money existed much before the government and political parties existed but see where we have ended today. If going cashless is the only way forward, certainly Bitcoin, a borderless, trustless and transparent currency makes more sense.
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The sad part is that even for mass Bitcoin adoption, we may need more support from the government and regulators. If there were bitcoiners in India like the way US has it, this news would have pushed up the prices of bitcoin at least by 20% in minutes. Interesting times.
According to me, the steps to demonetize the old 500 and 1000 INR currency notes is 3-fold. 1. To purge the black-money. 2. To eliminate the counterfeit notes in circulation. 3. To make the economy move towards digitization.
In a way, Bitcoin already answers these three issues. Because every Bitcoin transaction leaves a trial of transactions associated with it, we consider Bitcoin to be pseudonymous and not anonymous, and this is helpful to trace if it is associated with black-money (more easier than cash).
In Bitcoin, technically counterfeiting is not possible and even the double spending is not possible, and this is secured by hundreds of thousands of computers around the world. The Bitcoin is only digital in nature – the accountability is easier, 55 types of taxes collection become easier. Bitcoin is redefining the term currency and is shaping the way we use currency today.”