Financial IT: What is the impact of bitcoin on the financial services and society today?
Sunny Ray: It is still early days for bitcoin as it is less than 10 years old. Even still, DLT or distributed ledger technology hold great promise of altering financial services from the ground up. Bitcoin is the world's first open source, decentralized digital currency and payment network. What email is to the post office, bitcoin is to the internet of value. What the internet is to the library, bitcoin is to banks. What Uber is to traditional taxi services, bitcoin is to the future of money. Bitcoin has gone from less than $10 a bitcoin to more than $1000 a bitcoin in less than 5 years. Bitcoin is not only considered to be a form of digital gold, but also holds the potential to disrupt industries such as remittance.
Financial IT: How does Unocoin differentiate itself in today's marketplace?
Sunny: Started in 2013, Unocoin is a Bangalore based technology startup and is India’s first entrant into the bitcoin industry. The company operates India's largest trading platform which enables users to buy, sell, store, use and accept bitcoin. Every month, Unocoin processes transactions worth more than 200M INR for its 175,000+ customers. In just 3 years since inception, the company has drawn more than 30 top investors from 5 countries, including Digital Currency Group, Boost.vc, Funders Club, Bank to the Future, Blume Ventures, aH Ventures along with Mumbai Angels. Unocoin is responsible for industry leading innovations such as the Bitcoin Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), Bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App and Bitcoin Over-The-Counter trading (OTC).
Financial IT: What values does Unocoin bring to your target audience?
Sunny: We are laser focused on making bitcoin easier to use. Our mission is to make money simple by bringing bitcoin to billions. We're alway searching for enabling our users to buy, sell, store, use and accept bitcoin in India. We're also partnering with merchants across India to make it such that people can use their bitcoin online and offline. We've also launched services such as the SIP, systematic investment plan, which allows users to mitigate against bitcoin volatility. We've also made it easy for users to top up their mobile phones, pay for books, flights and much more.
Financial IT: Going forward what are the trends and advancements that we should expect to see on the bitcoin market?
Sunny: Since the number of bitcoin is limited to 21 million and the overall demand is increasing over time, we expect the long term price to trend upwards. Bitcoin's open source nature lends itself well towards financial innovation and inclusion. Billions of dollars have been invested into bitcoin companies over the past few years and we expect many of these companies to emerge and start solving real challenges (micropayments, remittance, etc.).
Financial IT: How does Unocoin address those challenges and innovations?
Sunny: We're always looking at the trends in bitcoin to ensure that we're always staying ahead of the curve. We address challenges such as volatility by offering our clients solutions such as BSIP (bitcoin systematic investment plan). We also perform KYC and AML on our platform so as to ensure that our clients are known to our organization. We have a strong team of engineers always looking at the latest trends in this space.
Sunny is the President and Co-founder of Unocoin, India's leading bitcoin company. He has over 15 years of experience in engineering and business development in the robotics and financial industries. Sunny was born in Canada to East Indian parents and after obtaining an engineering degree, studied finances and ran a brokerage for several years before investing nearly 10 years in the field of robotics. 5 years ago, once he discovered bitcoin, since he had a background in finance, he was able to appreciate the transformative power of bitcoin and blockchain technology. This led him to launch the first India Bitcoin meetup groups in Bangalore. Through these meetups, he met Sathvik, Abhi and Harish, his Co-founders at Unocoin. After trying many different opportunities in this space, it was Unocoin, a bitcoin trading platform, that took off and found product market fit.