Bitcoin startup Unocoin has released an application programming interface (API) which will allow individuals and companies to generate bitcoin wallets and buy, sell, send and receive bitcoins and allow merchants to accept and request payments through bitcoins.
They will also allow give real-time or historical price information of bitcoins and get notifications when payments arrive. The company mentioned that its API is being used by Paycase, a Canadian remittance application which allows for money transfer from Canada to India.
Paycase has tested transactions in nearly 20 countries to route payments over a variety of cryptocurrencies networks. “During a 6-month beta, Paycase successfully completed $50,000 worth of micro-transactions from Canada to the Philippines, with costs averaging 60-80% lower than traditional remittance players,” Unocoin added. For India, Unocoin and Paycase have worked together to establish technical, regulatory and business logic needed to convert Canadian Dollar to Indian Rupee transfers.
Unocoin’s recently released features includes a merchant point-of-sale (POS) app, a mobile trading app, an auto-selling feature for remittance users, systematic investment planning (SIP) to mitigate against volatility risk, integration with NETKI to simplify Bitcoin addresses, an over the counter (OTC) desk for large traders, and integration with Purse.io for discounts on Amazon.
Note that the Reserve Bank of India is yet to make up its mind about the digital currency. The RBI issued a warning that it will not regulate any Virtual Currency including Bitcoin in India and warned people who were dealing with the currency in India of the risks involved, saying that they’re exposing them to financial, legal, operational and security related risk.
Issues with KYC
MediaNama’s Salman SH recently tried to to create a bitcoin wallet on but ran into trouble with verification. Unocoin asks users to enter email id and password and then sends a link to register an account. Once the registration is complete, the user’s account will have an unverified status. The company then asks for the user’s name (as mentioned in the PAN card), PAN number, phone number and address. Scanned copies of PAN card and a valid address proof with a photograph must be uploaded.
This will move the account status to “Verification Pending”. Users will receive a phone call verification from Unocoin’s team, and will be verified. Following this, verified users will be able to add bank account details be able to buy and sell 10 bitcoins per day with no limits on sending and receiving bitcoins. Continued buy/sell transactions over a period of 60 days will upgrade the account to the “Gold Member” service which has lower transaction fees and higher buy/sell limits.
Despite uploading the documents, Salman’s verification was rejected with the following email.
A few days later, he got a call from the verification team asking him to upload scans of both sides of driver’s licence. He added the document scans but his account status still remains unregistered.
Unocoin raised $1.5 million from Blume Ventures, Mumbai Angels and ah! Ventures along with international investors such as Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Bnk to the Future and FundersClub in September. It also secured $250,000 in funding from Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Corp back in 2014.