KIRAN KUMAR K V
One of these days, I was trying to purchase a book from Sapna Book House, a famous brick & mortar book store in Bangalore, and now they were selling books online. During the online purchase transaction, I saw that Sapna Online was allowing the payment mode through Bitcoins. This was the first time I was exposed to Bitcoins as a payment mode. Bitcoin that was fairly a foreign word to most Indians and was largely being associated with disguised transactions, to my surprise was active here in a legal transaction, standing as an alternate to other payment modes like traditional payments, cards, PayTM and the likes. Bitcoins are alternate currencies, held digitally and usable for online purchase and sale transactions. Accepted by more than 100000 online stores around the world, bitcoins are making their way into the market places for retail products, alternative investment products, and many other purposes. In fact, one of the initiatives by a group of volunteers during Chennai floods recently, included accepting donations through bitcoins (later converting them to Indian rupees and sending it to NGOs working on relief). Despite being unorganised, unregulated and opaque to a large extent, bitcoins are finding their arena for operations even in markets like India.