Indian bitcoin startups form blockchain and digital currency association
Leading bitcoin companies in India have come together to set up a new alliance to create an industry body in order to engage with the regulators.
The Economic Times reports that Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Searchtrade have formed the Blockchain and Virtual Currency Association of India (BVAI) and are moving forward to formally register it.
The formation of BVAI follows the recent notice by the country’s central bank, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), cautioning users when engaging in bitcoin-related activities. The startups met for their first meeting on Friday and discussed the RBI circular among other things.
“While we have been planning to create an association for some time, we finally pushed things after the circular”, The Economic Times quoted Saurabh Agarwal, co-founder of Bitcoin trading and wallet company Zebpay. “We had thought of reviving the old association -Bitcoin Alliance of India (formed in 2014 but now defunct), but we also decided to add blockchain companies and create a larger association,” he said.
The BVAI would add more members from the growing number of bitcoin startups in the country. Bitcoin demand in India saw a sudden surge following the demonetization move announced by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Zebpay and Unocoin saw increased web traffic and app downloads, while bitcoin price in India was being quoted at nearly 25-28% premium, as compared to global rates.
Similar efforts to form an alliance were earlier seen in 2014, with the formation of Bitcoin Alliance of India. Mohit Kalra, CEO of Coinsecure, said that the first attempt failed as the companies were still small.
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