By Meghna Malik
India might be a strange place to launch a Bitcoin mobile wallet, given that the country does not figure on the top when it comes to the virtual currency. But Saurabh Agrawal, Mahin Gupta and Sandeep Goenka claim Zebpay is the easiest way to trade in the boundary-less digital currency created by ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ in 2009.
But Zebpay has a bit of pedigree when it comes to Bitcoins. In 2014, it was voted as the best startup to present at the CoinAgenda summit in Las Vegas.
Even though the Bitcoin is now legally accepted in many countries including India, it is not an official currency yet. But, given the ease and speed of transactions that Bitcoins offer, they are slowly being accepted by more companies and people across the world. In the words of Bill Gates, Co-founder, Microsoft, “Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.”
“I believe, Bitcoin is an invention greater than the Internet itself. Just as the web changed the world of publishing, Bitcoins will change the world of finance. And our mobile wallet application, Zebpay is an attempt to increase the Bitcoin market in India, ” says Sandeep Goenka, Co-founder of Zebpay.
WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is an innovative payment network, a new form of digital currency (commonly known as cryptocurrency) created and held electronically. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoins are not printed or monitored by a central authority. The Bitcoin network works on the consensus of everyone who participates in it — simply put, they are the Internet’s version of money.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology and all transactions are collectively carried out by the network. Like gold, oil and other such commodities, the price of Bitcoins is entirely based on supply and demand, usually through bids on an exchange.
“Bitcoin is an extremely interesting investment. From costing a few cents when it first gained popularity in 2010, one Bitcoin is currently worth $293, which is around Rs 18,000,” adds Sandeep Goenka.
HOW DOES ZEBPAY WORK?
Bitcoins are traded from one electronic Bitcoin wallet, to another and are digitally signed for security. To send and receive Bitcoins, one needs a Bitcoin address and a private key, which are created using Bitcoin wallets.
Zebpay is a mobile wallet that helps users to easily buy, store, send and spend Bitcoin through mobile numbers. It also provides merchants a premium account with various services. Zebpay eliminates the need for complex Bitcoin addresses.
“We aim at enabling people to send and receive Bitcoins just like message transactions. In the near future, we intend to offer vouchers to our users that will help them shop by directly using Bitcoins,” says Saurabh Agrawal, one of the founding members of Zebpay.
Bitcoins are made through a self-limiting system called Bitcoin mining. It is self-limiting, because a total of 21 million Bitcoins only will ever be allowed to exist. Approximately 11 million of these Bitcoins have already been mined, and are in current circulation.
Individuals can gain access to Bitcoins by buying them at a Bitcoin exchange, by exchanging them with other individuals or by accepting Bitcoins as payments for goods and services.