Vision has always been a critical facilitator for the growth of mankind. It was through great vision that Leonardo da Vinci drew out the plan for a flying machine back in the 14th century or Thomas Edison discovering electricity or Steve Job identified that personal computers would become a commonplace idea in the future. Path breaking ideas that go against the norms of the current era have always propelled the world to evolve. One such idea that is on its way of disrupting the way the world uses currency is Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency. Developed under a pseudo anonymous name of Satoshi Nakamoto, the software allows users to transact directly without involving any intermediary. The disruptive technology is slated to garner a user base of 4.7 million globally by the end of 2019.
The cryptocurrency has slowly but steadily made inroads in India and the Indian Bitcoin community is only growing stronger by the day. A catalyst for the development of the Indian Bitcoin eco-system is Coinsecure, a real time Bitcoin trading platform. Founded by Mohit Kalra, CEO and Founder and Benson Samuel CTO & Co-Founder, Coinsecure is one of the fastest and largest Bitcoin Exchanges in India which enables users to buy and sell Bitcoin with ease and also trade on its platform at the lowest fee. Established in 2014, the firm has come a long way in a short span of time and has recently secured Series A funding of $1.2 million making it India’s first Bitcoin company to have secured the highest funding till date. Through its recent round of funding the company is gearing up focus on enterprise services as well, such as providing public/private blockchain solutions to various industries, such as Banks, Manufacturing Industries, Suppliers, Import and Export Industry etc. Literally any industry which wants a solution to prevent counterfeiting or reversal, can implement this technology which can prevent hacks or any other mode of electronic fraud by internal staff.
Coinsecure’s Eureka Moment
Mohit, an early Bitcoin enthusiast was the largest Bitcoin miner in India from 2010 through 2013. “When people were mining Bitcoin in India with KH/s (Kilo hashes per second), I was on Megahashes with multiple computers running at the same time, Mining Bitcoin. By 2013, I was running multiple Terahashes with 28NM ASIC Chips. The real pain point came, when I had no place to sell these Bitcoins I had earned by mining,” he reminisces. At that point there were only two companies in India working on a brokerage model thus Bitcoin users like Mohit did not have the option to decide at what rate he wanted to sell them. Being given a fixed rate at which he could sell, which at that time was 10-15 percent lower than the global market rates, Mohit had the idea to build a real time Bitcoin trading platform in India, with the aim to provide freedom to the Bitcoin community in India to set their own buying and selling prices of their Bitcoin.
Mohit’s enthusiasm was shared by Benson, his co-founder. “Benson is the moderator of the Indian section of thebitcointalk.org forums and is an early adopter of Bitcoin in India and has a very strong vision. We knew the volumes were not going to be huge at first and it would take us at least six months to build what we had in our minds,” Mohit adds. Even though working on a decentralized and disruptive technology was not easy, the duo persisted through the odds and launched the company successfully in 2014 and went live with its exchange on the 1st of January, 2015 with a full algorithmic trading platform where users could place asks and bids as low as 0.001 Bitcoin, with the lowest trade fee in the Industry. The organization took a year to get the masses on board and to reach the level where it is now, having the maximum liquidity and volumes in India. “We are doing more than 4,000 BTC volumes and seeing an increase of at around 20-30 percent each month on an average,” says Mohit.
Services to Satisfy the needs of Today and Tomorrow
A reason for Coinsecure’s rapid growth is its strong portfolio of services. The platform offers an Off-Chain Bitcoin Wallet, where a user’s private keys are secured under Vaults in multiple geographical locations. Additionally users can make use of an On-Chain wallet, where people can send and receive Bitcoin instantly, a Block Explorer, where any user can search any Bitcoin Address or Transaction or Block in the local currency (INR). In a bid to help users sharpen their trading skills without having to dip their feet in the pool, the firm offers a mock trading platform. The firm also has Public API’s for the developer community to build some innovative products and services using Coinsecure’s technology.
Coinsecure also identified that 60 percent of its users were using its services through their smartphones, and as trading requires user to see multiple numbers at the same time, it gets difficult to fit everything onto one screen. “We decided to build a mobile application which can serve our customers with the best trading experience thatthey can have on their smartphones,” adds Mohit.
Bitcoin is not only for Miners and Traders; it’s a global mode of payment. As leading companies such as Dell, Microsoft, Zynga, Overstack etc now accept Bitcoin for their products and services, Coinsecure has built a Bitcoin payment gateway for Indian merchants to accept Bitcoin with 0 percent Volatility Risk and with the lowest fees in the payment gateway industry in India. “We look forward to officially launching these two services, we currently have in our pipeline, over the next two months,” informs Mohit.
Coinsecure also offers a secure Bitcoin Exchange. 70 - 80 percent of user’s Bitcoin always remain offline under secure vaults. “On the customer’s end, we have provided multiple layers to protect their accounts, such as mail verification, SMS OTP’s, Authy, Google Authentication on every action they take on the exchange, especially on deposits and withdrawals of Bitcoin or INR. We also just integrated with Netki, which is an amazing service,” explains Mohit. Along Coinsecure does INR deposits and withdrawals within the same working day from Monday to Saturday.with this,
Coinsecure has built a Bitcoin payment gateway for Indian merchants to accept
Bitcoin with 0 percent volatility risk and with the lowest fees in
the payment gateway industry in India
Its INR withdrawal on average takes around 30 minutes to reach its customers.
The company is now on the verge to integrate Ethereum, another Blockchain based token/currency on its exchange as well. “Our Bitcoin payment gateway for merchants will also bring more use cases for Bitcoin users in India,” adds Mohit. They will be able to shop almost anything in India with Bitcoin in the near future.
Collaborating to Build a Strong Bitcoin Community
The young organization has a positive attitude towards competition and is primarily focused on getting the mass on board to start experiencing this technology and using it in their daily lives. “One of the strongest services we have is our comprehensive API, which provides almost all the methods any user can use to either create their own products and services on top of ours or offer a complete white label free service,” elaborates Mohit. The firm conducts regular hackathons across India which have yielded interesting results. For example, one group leveraged Coinsecure’s API to make its exchange laid out like an Island with billboards showing exchange order books and enabled users to trade on virtual reality. The organization also has other Bitcoin companies and users in India using its API to leverage its liquidity and order books to meet customer needs. “If the whole community, meaning all Bitcoin companies in India can work with each other, it would be amazing!” affirms Mohit.
Although Coinsecure has achieved success in a relatively short span of time, the company still faces various challenges since it is providing services in an emerging payment technology. The biggest disappointment is that the Government and Regulators do not realize the power of Bitcoin and especially the tech behind it, i.e. the Blockchain. “Bitcoin is an open book with a public ledger. Each transaction gets recorded on to the Blockchain Network and is confirmed by the network supporters, i.e the Bitcoin miners around the globe,” explains Mohit. Once a transaction has been broadcasted to the Blockchain network, it can never be reversed. Blockchain technology can also be used to stop counterfeiting and money laundering. Bitcoin is a currency as well, so what can be done with Government issued currency, can be done with Bitcoin as well. So the problem is not in Bitcoin, it’s in the ‘’system’’ of India and the more so lack of regulations around Bitcoin. Regulators should come forward to create proper guidelines around Bitcoin with respect to what applies to the customers and what steps and procedures are required by a company to operate in a Bitcoin related business in India.
The bitter sweet journey of Coinsecure is a testament to the company’s dedicated customer base and team. “We are a team of not only entrepreneurs but early Bitcoin adopters who have noted how this technology cannot just change India but the world for the better. We started out on this journey with the mission of “Connecting India to Bitcoin” but also recognized that we needed to ensure that all that we did as a company was with the highest level of integrity,” says Mohit. Not only does the company provide an array of services to its customers but also operates with a robust KYC (Know your Customer) and Anti-Fraud policy to ensure that services are used for legitimate purposes and customers are protected. Operating on a very high level of transparency, the company has fully open order books from the Genesis trade so that customers know exactly what they are getting. The team understands that in order for Coinsecure to succeed, Bitcoin must become more mainstream and for that to take place, it must have high standards of integrity and educate Indian citizens on Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. The company conducts seminars and programs throughout schools and colleges across India to help educate and onboard as many people as possbile onto this journey of Bitcoin.
Coinsecure is now working towards getting merchants in India to accept payment in Bitcoin and to provide a more user friendly experience for storing, buying and selling Bitcoin on a mobile phone. In the years to come the firm is looking at global expansion, embracing Blockchain Technology and enterprise level service. Coinsecure will also work on leveraging Ethereum. Given Mohit and Benson’s commitment towards strengthening the Bitcoin ecosystem in India, Coinsecure is on its way to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the future.