Inspite of all the regulatory confusion over crypto currency in India, a group of Delhi based entrepreneurs have launched HighKart, an e-commerce portal that only accepts Bitcoin as payment. The company claims it is the first of its kind in India.
The portal currently retails more than 150 products from various categories including mobiles, cameras, computers and others.
The site lists product prices in Rupees. At the time of checkout, payments are processed by Bitcoin payment processor BIPS, which does the Rupee to Bitcoin conversion according to the current exchange rate.
Amit Kumar, co-founder of HighKart told NextBigWhat
We are a collection of entrepreneurs who want to bring Bitcoins to the mainstream by giving Bitcoin transactions credibility, while staying within the regulatory parameter. We do not want to jump off onto the illegal side of it.
The service provides shipping for its products across India and charges Rs 49 as shipping charges, only for order less than Rs 1000. There are no transaction fees or charges on purchases and all customer credentials are verified before shipping the products.
“Currently most people see Bitcoins as a trading platform and not a usable commodity and all we are doing is providing a platform for commoditizing Bitcoins. As we retail only in branded or white label goods on the site, there is no legality issues,” he adds.
Bangalore based MadOverCoins is another site that accepts Bitcoin as payment, but product listings on the site are limited.
Amit assures that the pricing on the site is as competitive as any other e-commerce portal in the country and he can match or even better if someone can find a better price on a product.
As far as the legality of the service goes, Amit says “We are not facilitating money laundering through the site and we pay all the commercial taxes as required hence there is no worry of the service being termed illegal.”
Back in December 2013, the ED conducted raids on Mahim Gupta, an Ahmedabad based Bitcoin vendor, on violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Following this development, several other Indian Bitcoin services had halted operations.
Recently Laxmi Coin, another crypto currency, from India has sought for approval from RBI and intends to launch soon.