Indian bitcoin exchange Unocoin will now allow its users to purchase everyday consumer items such as pizza, coffee, and ice cream in the country using bitcoin, local news outlet News18 reported. The feature will provide Unocoin customers with branded voucher options in its mobile app, redeemable with BTC and used for regular purchases.
Instead of having bitcoin function as the actual medium of exchange, Unocoin will introduce a new feature to ease its customers into spending their bitcoin for products, including coffee or pizza. The exchange will provide the user options on vouchers, which they can choose and have the corresponding BTC amount be deducted from their app balance. The voucher code will then be forwarded to the customer and be exchangeable for goods and services from that brand.
Unocoin, which has been operating since 2013, first started as a simple bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet in India. Now, the app has become a full-fledged bitcoin exchange, serving over 1.37 million customers in the country. By introducing the new feature, Unocoin became the second Indian exchange to offer its customers vouchers for bitcoin. The first was Zebpay, which launched a similar feature after partnering with Flipkart.
A booming market for Bitcoin adoption, India's relationship with the peer-to-peer electronic cash has been inconsistent. In March, a government official in the country reportedly said the nation was considering proposing a broad cryptocurrency ban to penalize anyone mining, trading, or holding bitcoin. In the same month, it was speculated the Indian Central Bank was considering releasing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Nonetheless, the future might be bright for India as it navigates how to best deal with Bitcoin. If the country decides to embrace innovation rather than stall it, its economy might see great prosperity in the coming years.