Bitcoin has a lot of buzz and it was evident during the wedding in Bangalore. When Prashant Sharma and Niti Shree were planning their wedding, they thought of something unusual. They decided to ask Bitcoin as a present during their wedding.
The couple are founders of a digital start- up and live in Bangalore, South India. Because of their profession, they have numerous friends living in technology companies. They said, “So we thought of merging technology with gifting for the future,” said Mr Sharma. “We explained it to our parents and they were very receptive.”
The wedding was on 9thDecemeber, after four days after the RBI issued its third warning to caution the investors against the trading of Bitcoin. But the couple, their family and friends were not discouraged by that warning.
Bitcoin is a digital currency and they can be traded only online. They are seen as an alternative currency as Bitcoin cannot be found in banks. They are also not printed by the government, thus Bitcoin is not a currency like coins and notes you have.
Very few companies like Expedia and Microsoft accept Bitcoins, as they act as virtual tokens. But these days numerous people across the world trade Bitcoins as a financial investment.
Coming to the idea of wedding gift as Bitcoin, most of the guests at Sharma’s wedding gifted them Bitcoin. In fact only 15 out of 200 guests at the wedding gave them traditional gifts. According to Sharma’s estimates, they received around Rs. 100000 worth of Bitcoins as gift.
One of the guests, who gifted Bitcoin at the wedding without revealing his name said, “The concept is good. I am sure its acceptance will improve though many governments may not like it now.”
Another guest, Ravi Shankar said, “Prashant and Niti did not decide on Bitcoin as a gift in the last couple of weeks. It was planned a couple of months ago.”
Because of the recent surge in the value of Bitcoin, many people are wondering if it is a bubble. But that did not deter Mr Sharma much. He said, “If you buy something to sell it later then you are creating a bubble. We bought Bitcoin because we wanted to see how this technology moves forward.”
“Bitcoin is not the only thing that has potential. Blockchain technology is the real deal,” he added.
It is a technology that records the data of Bitcoin transaction by the users. It is nothing but a digital ledger containing agreements, contracts and transactions. Numerous banks have already said that Blcokchain could be used widely and transform financial transaction in future.
“The disruptive potential of blockchain technology is so huge that it just cannot be banned,” Mr Sharma said. The experts say that are aware and understand the concerns of the regulators.
An Economic analyst said, “Regulators find that there is not enough transparency in the ownership and management of cryptocurrency.” She added, “It is not that they are bull-headed or orthodox. Governments just want to be careful.”
Mr Sharma told that he and his wife will use the Bitcoins they have received for a good cause and will sell them and use the fund to educate underprivileged children.