One of the oldest and the largest Bookstores in India, Sapna Book House is now accepting Bitcoin as a payment for their online store.
Sapna is one of the first bookstores in India to accept Bitcoin, it was one of the first company even before Amazon and Flipkart to sell books online in India. The website boasts of having over a Million registered users with over 500k active users.
In their payment section, the website provides an option for users to pay using Bitcoin. The company directs users to Unocoin which is an Indian Cryptocurrency exchange to accept payments which according to the website will take 30 minutes to complete.
Although the payment gateway is integrated with Unocoin, users are not able to use the service as Unocoin has taken down their service. This is due to the regulatory hurdles and restrictions presented by the Indian government.
In April this year, the central bank of India (RBI) banned all banks from dealing with Cryptocurrency exchanges and services which pretty much dried out the liquidity in the country making it very difficult for businesses to accept Cryptocurrencies.
The founders of Unocoin were even arrested by the Bengaluru police for setting up a Bitcoin Kiosk in one of the malls without permission.
Update: We have just learned that Sapna Book House started accepting Bitcoin back in 2017, but have stopped since the RBI ban in April. Presumably, they will resume accepting Bitcoin once the regulations in India are clear on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.
It is great to see businesses like Sapna accepting Bitcoin as payment but mass adoption is being hindered greatly by the lack of regulatory clarity. Not only is this affecting businesses and individuals in India but also developers and innovators who are looking to take part in this new technological revolution.
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