Even as the Centre said that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, Jakarta-based blockchain company Pundi X plans to launch cryptocurrency point-of-sale (PoS) machines in India later this year.
“The PoS devices are now in production, and will be open for ordering in about 20 days,” Zac Cheah, CEO, Pundi X, told BuinessLine.
Apart from India, the company is expected to launch the payments network in countries such as Singapore and Indonesia.
The network will allow the conversion of cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies in the short term. This means the cryptocurrency can be converted into a local currency. So, even when a cryptocurrency is exchanged, the actual transaction will be settled in the local currency.
“All transactions can be settled in rupees/local currency,” Cheah said
Pundi X devices will support all major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Sources say India is one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies, with one out of every 10 global transactions coming from the country. The PoS devices can accept credit cards and recognise QR-code for mobile app payments.
But how popular will such a PoS machine be, especially considering the regulatory framework? Cheah says his company is ready to comply.
“We will adopt and comply with the local regulation if the demand for blockchain transaction is high in India,” he said.
According to Kartik Ganapathy, Partner, IndusLaw, at the moment, there is no specific regulation covering cryptocurrencies in India.
“These PoS devices are a bet that cryptocurrencies will become popular. Assuming this is true, the business will flourish. If cryptocurrencies get regulated, these devices may need to be reconfigured to comply with the rules,” he said.
Rashmit Gupta, founder of SearchTrade, and founding member of Digital Assets and Block Chain Foundation India, said cryptocurrency PoS machines, as a concept, looks very promising, but added that it will be a challenge to make users spend their holdings.
“Crypto is considered more a digital asset. People prefer crypto to make money out of speculation during volatility,” he said, adding that “it will take a couple of years before prices become stagnant and users spend their crypto on utility.”