A survey released on Wednesday by a leading Indian trade and industry body found that 97% of respondents across multiple industries are aware of bitcoin. While the group calls for more regulations, the survey sheds light on the opportunities Bitcoin can offer the country.
The Roundtable and Survey
India’s leading trade and industry body called the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Wednesday hosted a “Roundtable on Industry Perspective on Bitcoins: A New World of Transactions and Payments.” PHD stands for Progress, Harmony, and Development.
Founded in 1905 and headquartered in New Delhi, the chamber is a non-government, non-profit industry-led and industry-managed organization which claims to work with the government. It has a direct membership of over 1,600 corporate entities and serves more than 45,000 indirect members in the business community.
At the event, the PHD Research Bureau released a survey-based report outlining the present status, mechanism, regulatory aspects, and future prospects of bitcoin in India. The survey asked 223 stakeholders, from industries such as garments, textiles, drugs and pharmaceutical, electronics, machine tools, auto components, and leather, according to Money Control. The publication wrote:
The study found that 97 percent of the respondents were aware of bitcoins.
However, none of the respondents have actually used bitcoin for their businesses, the survey revealed, adding that all of them “were unaware of the payment mechanism involved in bitcoins,” the publication noted.
Regulation Could Boost Bitcoin Adoption
Survey respondents cited “safety and security of the system as a major hindrance” to bitcoin adoption. During the roundtable, Chamber President Gopal Jiwarajka brought up the point that bitcoin has the potential to boost the digital economy, but warned that it is “fraught with risks and not backed by any tangible asset but by sheer demand.”
While describing bitcoin as a fascinating instrument, he believes it is “highly volatile and susceptible to high risk,” and said:
Bitcoins could act as a potential transaction and payment mechanism for businesses given proper monitoring and regulation of the currency…Proper vigilance and directives to regulate the cryptocurrency could boost the digital ecosystem in the country.
The chamber’s president argued that “it is essential to expand the regulatory framework for bitcoins to reinforce the safety and security aspects of bitcoins.” In addition, he suggested that this framework should be coupled with “awareness programmes about the pros and cons associated with bitcoins to bolster the digital campaign in India.”
Industry Chamber Sees Opportunities
“As an industry chamber, we see this technology/concept as an opportunity with proper regulation to create a great tool for promoting digital economy,” The Hindu Business Line quoted Jiwarajka explaining.
He also made a case for taking immediate action. “The RBI should now look deep into the concept of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoins, and take a view on it.” The sentiment echoes the chamber’s report:
Arguably, bitcoins can be a boon for the large population of the country which is still unbanked; it can provide them with a superior and simple peer to peer digital currency trading platform through desktops and mobile devices.
When do you think all these industries will start using bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and PHD Chamber
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