In the past 3 decades, Bengaluru has come to be known as the IT hub or the Silicon Valley of India. It is keeping up with its reputation, with the city’s first eatery that is accepting payment in Bitcoins.
Based in Indiranagar and Whitefield in Bengaluru, Suryawanshi Restaurant serves delightful Maharashtrian cuisine with a bit of a twist. The restaurant is one of India’s first restaurants to let people pay in Bitcoins.
While the restaurant sounds tech-savvy with Bitcoins and digital wallets as accepted payment methods, the owner Mr. Kailash Suryawanshi, claims to be the exact opposite of it. His son, Tejas, was introduced to the world of cryptocurrency by a friend, and the idea interested him. The idea of introducing Bitcoins was not only to invest in it, but also generate curiosity among the people and educate them about this digital phenomenon. “Over the last seven months, the value of the Bitcoin industry has expanded by over 80 billion. The market capital is on the high road,” he says.
Suryawanshi is likely to be the second restaurant in the country to start accepting Bitcoins. It accepts payment through Bitcoin wallets like Unocoin.
Not Exactly The First
The pioneer for the Bitcoin trend in Indian restaurants actually goes to a pizzeria in Mumbai called Kolonial, which adopted this concept back in 2013.
The restaurant’s owner, Tarun Thadani, was introduced to bitcoins at a meeting held by Vishal Gupta, a digital currency enthusiast, at the restaurant. Convinced and inspired by Mr. Vishal, he decided to adopt bitcoins as a method of payment at his restaurant. It must have been a daunting task for Mr. Tarun to introduce bitcoins back then, which didn’t have the fame it has today. Yet, bitcoins took off quite well at his restaurant, with over 10 bitcoin payments from the meetups itself. Thadani said:
“The bitcoin meet-ups started taking place at my restaurant in the private area in the back. So, I got to know all these people and they are the ones who asked if they could pay in bitcoin for their meals and I started accepting it. But, at the moment, I accept them in my personal wallet and settle with my restaurant later.”
Thadani even makes a special menu for these social events with prices printed in INR and bitcoin, side by side.
With these eateries, allowing customers to pay in Bitcoins, the Bitcoin bandwagon is rapidly expanding in India, though often treated more as an asset.
Bitcoins have been termed as the “currency of the future”. While Japan has already legalized the use of Bitcoins, there has been a significant support from Indian techies as well. The Indian Government too is making a push towards a cashless economy, and once the issues concerning the use of Bitcoins, such as, money laundering and consumer protection are adequately addressed, it is quite possible for Bitcoins to get legalized in India as there seems to be significant support from the cryptocurrency enthusiasts in India.