India’s Pocketbits Enables Crypto Donations for Soldiers’ Families After Deadly Terror Attack
Last week, a convoy of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was hit by a major terrorist attack, killing over 40 personnel. Post the incident, Indian exchange Pocketbits has enabled cryptocurrency donations to help the families of the victims.
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Crypto Community Steps Up for the Nation and Victims’ Families
On February 14th, 2019, over 40 soldiers of the CRPF were killed by terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of Mohammed) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The Pulwama attack is recorded as one of the deadliest-ever terrorist attacks on the Indian military.
As India mourns and stands united to support families of the 40 paramilitary troopers, Mumbai-based crypto exchange Pocketbits has stepped up to join the consolidation efforts. Pocketbits, in collaboration with India’s blockchain and crypto community Indiabits, has launched a “CRPF Bravehearts” campaign, which would accept donations in cryptocurrency and then convert the contributions to fiat to distribute to the families of the deceased army personnel.
Per Pocketbits’ website, the crypto donations can be made in bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, XRP and tronix. The benefactions will be converted to fiat on a daily basis and forwarded to the Indian government’s armed forces-focused fundraising initiative “Bharat Ke Veer”. However, at press time, the bitcoin block explorer for Pocketbits’ address shows only one donation worth $38 made towards the families of army personnel.
According to Pocketbits CEO Sohail Merchant, the company launched the crypto fundraising initiative to invite members of the Indian diaspora and global crypto community to contribute effortlessly, without worrying about currency exchange.
The low contribution rate could be due to a lack of attentiono the incident by the international media — or possibly, a general skepticism about sending crypto donations to addresses published on websites (which can be changed via malicious scripts, or published by bad actors posing as charities). However Pocketbits is an established company in the Indian crypto market, which has run previous charitable campaigns and publishes spreadsheets with updates on progress
Pocketbits’ previous humanitarian efforts include enabling crypto donations to help victims of devastating floods that hit the Indian state of Kerala last year. For that fundraising initiative, the crypto exchanges processed about $2,300 worth of donations to aid the flood victims.
Ban Won’t Stop Crypto From Flourishing
Such efforts by domestic crypto players fuel positive vibes in the community, in the hope the government will eventually offer moderation to the Central Bank of India’s April 6th, 2018 diktat that forbids all banking institutions under its umbrella from facilitating crypto exchanges.
In an exclusive interview with Bitsonline, Merchant stated that while the banking blockade is in effect, most exchanges have begun supporting P2P transactions. As such, donations towards the Indian soldiers’ families will also be cashed out using its own P2P market.
— PocketBits (@PocketBitsIndia) January 11, 2019
Meanwhile, the community in India hopes for positive regulation to be introduced that can help the country and the crypto economy.
Merchant is confident that positive regulations are just around the corner. He believes the government is taking time to thoroughly study the token economy and the underlying blockchain technology before introducing regulations that would uplift the sector. He added:
“Our expectations are fairly positive in terms of upcoming regulations as there is a keen sense of interest among the different sets of regulators to understand the technology and its implications.”
Meanwhile, India’s highest judicial forum, The Supreme Court of India, is yet to decide its verdict for the case filed against RBI’s crypto banking ban. Reportedly, the next hearing is slated for 26th February 2019.
As to the case, Merchant said: “We have a fair chance of a positive outcome as the circular issued by RBI can be quashed based on legal grounds.”
Even though India’s central banking authority, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stalled the domestic crypto ecosystem with its authoritarian banking restriction, Pocketbits’ latest efforts indicate a thriving crypto community is still growing in the country — outside the financial system.
As such, crypto data tracking website CoinDance indicates that Indian rupee (INR) trading of bitcoin is worth about $5 million a month on the LocalBitcoins platform.
Will the Supreme Court of India decide to lift the crypto banking ban? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via user Sskaswa, Wikipedia