Where are Bitcoins accepted?
Demonetisation of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has had mixed reactions from the nation. While the push towards digital transactions has increased, one still sees queues outside ATMs and banks. The reason being that a lot of services still rely on cash and India is still, for all practical purposes, a cash-first country. Wide-scale digitisation is one of the backbones on which digital economy can thrive. But thanks to our infrastructural limitations, there will be challenges in achieving that ‘less-cash’ dream that we keep hearing about.
Now while the fight between digital currency and physical currency carries on, there is another kind of currency that is slowly but surely gaining prominence in the Indian construct. Cryptocurrency. Or its more popular variant – bitcoins.
According to a report in Quartz, bitcoin trading has seen an increase over the last month or so, to an extent that it has reached its highest value since February 2014. India’s leading bitcoin company Unocoin says that average number of visitors to its site has crossed 14, 000 from its daily average of 4, 000 users before demonetisation. Zebpay, a local bitcoin company, has seen trades worth 75 cr in November 2016 alone, compared to a trade of Rs 100 cr in all of 2015.
While it would be too early to say that demonetisation has been the reason for this, it has certainly played some part in these increased numbers in the crypto currency trade.
Bitcoin mining is a specialised field. Considering bitcoin does not have a central bank like issuing entity, it is the users also known as miners who use software to solve math problems to be rewarded with bitcoins in exchange. Now hardware requirements for bitcoin mining have undergone a sea-change because the complexity of the problem increases depending on how fast the problem is being resolved. So from using CPUs to graphics cards to special bitcoining systems to ASIC-based circuits to mine bitcoins, the stress has always been to have a fast system but one which does not heat a lot, as that increases cooling overheads.
Bitcoin mining system performance is measured in Scrypt hash calculations or SHA-256 per second. This is called a hash rate. As mentioned above, the reason to go from CPU to ASIC is due to the limitations when it came to improved hash rates.