The validity of cryptocurrencies remains uncertain after the Central government gave directions to prevent banks from trading in them. However, in all the commotion and suspense, Unocoin Technologies Private Ltd has set up India’s first ATM kiosk to trade in cryptocurrencies in Bengaluru.
The automated teller machine, which has been installed at Kemp Fort Mall on Old Airport of Bengaluru, is the first-of-its-kind in the country. It will have both a trading and exchange platform, which will allow verified customers to use the device. It is expected to start operations soon.
The first-of-its-kind automated teller machine will have both a trading and exchange platform and will allow verified customers to use the device. It is expected to become operational soon.
This kiosk is accessible to registered customers of Unocoin. The customers will be able to buy or sell up to 10 Bitcoins — one of the high-value cryptocurrencies per day. However, all the transactions will have to be conducted in Indian rupees which will then be changed into the currency of choice of the consumer.
The kiosk will allow customers to trade in Bitcoin and Ethereum while providing an exchange platform for 24 other cryptocurrencies in circulation.
Customers risking the use of Bitcoins will have to register by using their mobile number and entering a password. A verification process is initiated during which details such as PAN number, phone number, address, bank details, and others have to be furnished. It uses an elaborate procedure for both deposits and withdrawals, with the withdrawals requiring a prior request and 12-digit OTP.
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies that have gained popularity across the world.
A cryptocurrency is a basically a digital asset that has been created to function as a medium of exchange, like cash.
It uses cryptography to ensure the security of transactions — authentication and prevention of duplicate transactions — and to control the creation of new units of currency.
This is different from cash in that cryptocurrencies have no physical form. This blur the boundaries between fiat and non-fiat currencies. They are simply numbers on a screen and there is no central bank that issues new currency. However, Bitcoin has emerged as the popular face of cryptocurrencies.
A fiat currency is any currency that has no intrinsic physical value, but whose value is established by government decree. For example, most national currencies around the world, including the Rupee and the Dollar, are fiat currencies as their values are dictated by the government.
Non-fiat currencies such as the Gold Standard have more or less been effectively phased out, as they require adequate physical stockpiles to maintain their value.
However, the new breed of digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin blurs the boundaries between fiat and non-fiat – they don’t have any physical value as such, but are also not government-controlled. This has created uncertainties about their role in the modern financial system.