For serial entrepreneur Amit Bhardwaj, bitcoins and blockchain held interest while he was still doing a nine-to-five job and he continued to explore these areas even after launching his first venture in 2009. Not many were familiar with bitcoins and blockchain as far back as 2013, when Amit started HighKart.com, an E-commerce platform for accepting payment in bitcoins for products.
A digital currency, bitcoin is not supported by any country’s government or central bank. Also known as cryptocurrency, this money is usually exchanged among users through a network which is called block and the bitcoin miners confirm these transactions.
But Amit shut down HighKart and founded GBMiners in August 2016 to foray into the mining space. He explains: “When I started HighKart in 2013, the bitcoin space was very small and nobody was ready to listen to the concept. That’s when I realised that people were using bitcoins as a commodity for investment and not as a transaction mechanism. We stopped HighKart and we ventured into the mining space.”
Amit by then had a decent exposure to the bitcoin mining mechanism and was fascinated with how transactions were verified. He recalls, “I was convinced enough to buy a miner for myself and set it up at home.”
Delhi-based GBMiners is a bitcoin mining pool where collectives of bitcoin miners pool in resources and share their hashing power to solve a math problem or a block, the reward for which is distributed among users based on the proportion of work done.
A serial entrepreneur
An alumnus of MGM’s College of Engineering in Maharashtra, Amit is building an ecosystem of products based on bitcoins and blockchain and other cryptocurrencies. Having worked with companies like Infosys and Reasoning Global as an IT specialist, he had a fair understanding of various aspects of business and product developmental cycle. The accumulative experience that he had gathered served him well and gave birth to his first venture NexGen Facility Management, which he ran for four years before starting HighKart.com. He exited HighKart.com after operating it for more than three years.
In 2016, he started Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research, CoinBank Wallet, and GBMiners. Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research is the parent company of GBMiners and Coinbank Wallet. Amit is currently operating three ventures, which is a testimony to his passion for the technology of bitcoin and blockchain.
Will bitcoin miner mine real cash flow?
GBMiners currently has 12 employees and more than 1,000 users. It mines around 80-100 bitcoins everyday. Once the miners mine a block, the coins are distributed amongst them equally with a small fee going to GBMiners for hosting the pool. Amit says that today one bitcoin is worth nearly Rs 1 lakh, which was around Rs 45,000 three months back. They have also mined over 5,400 bitcoins since then.
Bitcoin mining pools are a way for bitcoin miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block. Bitcoin mining in pools began when the difficulty for mining increased to the point where it could take years for slower miners to generate a block.
Amit says that by pooling their resources miners could generate blocks quicker and thus receive a portion of the bitcoin block reward on a consistent basis, rather than randomly once every few years.
Bitcoin witnessed a slow beginning in India. However, banks are now acknowledging its advantages. According to an analyst, Bitcoin trade in the country has grown rapidly, at an estimated Rs 500 crore per year, with 50,000 bitcoin wallets and over 700-800 bitcoins being operated every day.
“India is still getting there, but before the full-fledged acceptance of bitcoins, we will need a policy-level framework to come into existence. People need to know that these transactions hold legal tender before they can start using bitcoins at scale. Once the government or RBI recognises it, then there will be no looking back as the talent pool in India is so huge that within weeks we will have multi-fold adoption of blockchain technology in various fields which will pave the way for cryptocurrency to be integrated seamlessly,” says Amit.