On 24th December 2013, RBI issued a notice outlining the risks involved for people utilizing Bitcoins. Two days later, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) undertook the first Bitcoin raid in India. Buysellbitco.in – stopped all operations on its platform. And so did other exchanges and portals as well. This however, does not seem to deter HighKart.com, India’s first online retailer to accept Bitcoin payments.
“As an e-commerce company, safe, simple and reliable payment solutions are important for our customers, and Bitcoin payment provides us with exactly this. Bitcoin’s growing user base cannot be ignored. We’re proud that, from today, we’ll be the first e-commerce website in India able to accept Bitcoin payment. It’s an exciting development for us and our customers,” said the company in a blog statement.
- HighKart calls itself “the bitcoin store.”
- The website list crypto-mining gear, men’s fashion, home appliances, fitness gear & other electronics.
- HighKart only accepts bitcoin, and only ships within India. The company utilizes Bitcoin Payment Solutions (BIPS) for payment processing.
- BIPS operates as a Payment Service Provider (PSP) specializing in the technical aspects of accepting cryptocurrencies - such as Bitcoin.
- A transaction fees of only 0.99% is charged.
The company acknowledges however that it may take a while for them to see any large Bitcoin payments due to the humble size of the Bitcoin community. “HighKart.com is unlikely to see a huge number of bitcoin payments anytime soon. The bitcoin community remains relatively small, and reluctant to spend bitcoins. But the team at HighKart is taking the long view,” stated HighKart.
The Indian Government’s stance on Bitcoin and related virtual currencies is still unclear. RBI’s warning on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and its potential use for criminal purposes had scared away a lot of early supporters. The raid on Buysellbitco.in CEO Mahim Gupta was yet another blow for the virtual currency.