Recent events have caused me to remain inactive and unable to keep my blog posts coming. Pakistan has recently seen good interest in bitcoin and blockchain. So much so that urdubit Pakistans First and only bitcoin trading platform was awarded UBL Innovation Award in Fintech Category at P@sha Annual 2016 awards. Followed by this announcement the company Blockchain Tech(parent company of urdubit) sold 40% of shares to Planet N who plan to collaboratively lead the blockchain development in Pakistan.
As recently as 2 months ago. Blockchain Tech (pvt) Ltd signed a MOU with IBM to collaborate on POC over blockchain based products. The idea is to bring use cases to Pakistan which will improve security in current setups and at the same time bring transparency to the systems.
With people now realizing the potential that bitcoin brings, the demand has grown tremendously. This can be seen by the growing trading volumes of bitcoin in Pakistan on localbitcoins and urdubit . We seen the avg increase to about 60% over a period of just 2 months. This has also increased as new investors now want to take part in trading bitcoin as a commodity. The price increase of btc over recent months from $900 to $1136 (as of this writing), while touching $1295 has also sparked interest in the general populations.
At this stage I would like to re emphasize the fact that bitcoin is still a high volatile market, while the potential as a technology remains limitless it is still a risky investment with a high rate of return. We have recently seen forbes, Washington post, bbc all cover bitcoin as it had reached price parity with gold where 1 oz of gold was equal to 1 bitcoin. The upcoming Winklewoss twins ETF fund is also playing an important factor in price increase. This fund named COIN will be regulated under SEC. If the offering is accepted we should see a heavy injection from new users into crypto currency. The expected date is March 13th, if the fund is not rejected by then then it will most likely go through.
Bitcoin has been rising from USA to China to Pakistan. People are now beginning to realize its potential. Bitcoin is predicted to become a reserve currency(7th) by 2030 if the current trends continue. However I view bitcoin as the one and only true reserve currency. We have to understand that bitcoin is the only one of its kind from the other list of fiat dominated currencies that can truly be accepted anywhere and by anyone for anything. These options are further developed with the advent of OpenBaazar type services also.
Realization of the potential of a free economy has seen price of bitcoin rise steadily. in addition to this we now see the companies like steam even starting to accept bitcoin. For 3rd world countries its an even better opportunity as capital controls and strict banking requirements make it difficult to have access to proper credit card or debit card services. It makes it easier for people to use bitcoin as a sort of a prepaid system of making payments.
Today Japan is debating on accepting bitcoin as a proper currency which can be a huge step and a leg up on the competition. Bitcoin has caused a rise in the fintech revolution and no country wants to really ban it. They realize that the potential is there and they see that is bound to happen. How long will it take for true realizing is only a matter of time.
I will be covering details on how to use urdubit in video tutorials here in this blog post. Hopefully all your questions will be answered here. If you do however have any questions please register and ask in the comments section. Also share this article so that people can learn about bitcoin in Pakistan.
Video Part 1
Verification on urdubit is an important setup and we wont allow you to deposit or withdraw pkr unless you are verified. Like all international trading platforms we want our countrymen to be safe and secure hence we follow standard KYC/AML procedures to ensure that you are really you. So lets get this part out of the way so you can start buying or selling bitcoins.
Video Part 2
Video Part 3:
This is a detailed video of how to buy and sell bitcoin bitcoin in Pakistan. Most people have this problem as there was no trading platform before this. Rest assure this was very secure and you will have fun if you use it once or twice.
I figured it was time to update and give some information on what excatly is bitcoin and blockchain to my fellow country men. This is my view of what it is and why it is. Please realize that bitcoin in my opinon was created to make money truly yours. Currently all financial systems work through centralized banking, anyone living in Pakistan already know the problem with the control the banks have right now on our accounts. The idea is what I believe was in the head of satoshi that led to the creation of the first true peer to peer (similary to torrent) type currency known as btc or bitcoin. He laid the foundationg of an opensource ledger(database) for the general public where every entry was single entry and could not be removed. But all the ledger was synced with the other users running the software on the network. This software was known as a wallet which can be considered like a bank account of sort for the comman man. While you can have many wallat addresses in a single wallet it resides in public ledger. This is also why it is important to backup the wallet.dat file of your wallet if you have the full software running. There are now online wallets and paper wallets you can also store your bitcoins on online exchanges or bitcoin trading platforms. Do remember if you lose your wallet on your pc or paper wallet for any reason its gone forever. I believe that bitcoin is still in its infancey and has a long way to go, think about how internet came about:
There was Fax–> Bullitin Board Service or BBS–> email –>internet
It took it a long time, it wasent an overnight revolution. Similarly bitcoin is very new. While it has captured a huge market it still has a long way to go. There are benifits of the blockchain and bitcoin as both are being innovated upon. Some companies are working on blockchain(ledger, or database) such as voip (p2p) coins such as korecoin and viorcoin then there rare coins such as bay, blk etc that support smart contrants and p2p markets. Then there is the ripple gateway that is trying to replace the current swift system.
Then there are services that belive in bitcoin itself and are using its financial power to change the way we bank or use money today. Think about the fact that you own one currency that works throughout the world you dont have to worry about Pakistani ruppee price fluctuating aganist the USD (this is an example) as PKR is not accepted everywhere in the world. It is a true boarderless curreny that I believe is brining people closer together. The launch of https://www.coinpip.com is one such gateway which lets companies pay their developers anywhere in the world. Its a singaporian startup that is doing alot of work in this feild. They take the bitcoin out of picture but use bitcoin in the backend. Then there are exchanges and atms and user acceptance poping up everywhere around the world, such as microsoft, dell, paypal, namescheap, overstock etc. There are physicall vendors in Pakistan too. There is a shop in Gunjarawallla, a petrol pump/ gas station in Karachi, then http://www.paybill.io where you can pay your bills for Malaysia and Pakistan and also do mobile topups, or easy loadshttp://www.a2zlawn.com that are accepting bitcoins for payment, you can also check http://www.coinmap.org for a few other locations that accept bitcoins.
I have also witnessed the power of bitcoin recently and how user to user interaction increases adoption. I was contacted by a person who wanted to buy stuff from a vendor in another country wanted to learn about bitcoin and how it could benifit him. After consultations with us he wanted to give it a go. But his vendor was also fearfull of the price fluctions and how bitcoin could be risky as he believed it cant be real. The user here after consultation convinced his vendor that he would be taking this risk so there was no worries at his end. The first transation they did took all in all 15 mins and the cash was transfered in the vendors bank account while saving the payee money as compared to if he had used a credit card or wiretransfer. When the vendor saw this his response was: “This is really very easy, will you make more payments like this?” This is what I believe money should be, a truely boarderless medium with worldwide acceptance. The bad policies of some countries have left them in poverty, this doesnt mean that that the citizen of that country should not even have control over their funds/money and acceptablity etc. If the currency is truely boaderless he doesnt have to worry about local exchangers even.
I do believe this is only the begining of the future what the future holds, can only be witnessed in time. I do believe there is a need for one global international currency even the world powers such as china, russia and UN want this. There is an interesting article that was put out back in 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/6152204/UN-wants-new-global-currency-to-replace-dollar.html and I think bitcoin is the answer for that.
I have seen alot of people asking around how to use this exchange to buy bitcoins. So I figured this would be the ideal time to write this tutorial. Since I have already registered with the site I wont be giving screenshots of the signup but its pretty straight forward. Just a word you dont have to be verified to start trading at Urdubit. Verification only comes in handy if you want to cash out PKR. The information that Urdubit asks for verification is strictly to comply with KYC of State Bank. We dont disclose your identity or information to anyone. The information will only be provided to a government institution if requested by them on account of fraud or terrorist activity. Urdubit wants to safeguard its customers from any illegal activity and/or scam hence the verification is required. Do take note that under current Pakistan Law you dont have to pay any Taxes for selling or buying software. Bitcoin is basically a protocol hence termed as software therefore there is no requirement to report this to any tax authority.
First Login & Verification:
After you login for the first time you are presented with a verification forum. You dont have to verify yourself to begin trading with your btc you can simply deposit or withdraw btc and also trade them to PKR by listing your order under the order book but you cant deposit money or withdraw only when you are verified. The verification is inline with State Bank Of Pakistan Guidelines.
1. Enter your correct details.
2. Hold your Original CNIC/B-forum next to your face and take a selfie. Then click on Upload button. Now select the file with the selfie. This is to verify this is indeed yours since you are not physically present there.
3. Scan or take a photo in high resolution of your Original CNIC/B-Forum up close so that the entire card is visible and then click on same “Upload File” button again and upload this picture.
4. Follow the above for the back of your CNIC and upload the third file.
5. Now scan or take a screen shot of your bill make sure its under your name if its not you have to submit the copy of the original paid bill.
Dont worry if you make a mistake urdubit will call you for your verification so please make sure the number you provided is correct.
Please look at the down arrow as posted in the following screenshot. Clicking it will let you deposit PKR into your account
If you are using the Whitedev theme you can look for the links as denoted in the following screen:
To deposit funds look at the down arrow as marked by me on the above screen shot. The following page will popup:
Similarly if you are using a the Whitedev theme a similar screen will popup asking the same information, currently there are only 2 banks listed here for deposit. At this point you just have to enter the amount and select the bank. There after you simply deposit the money in that account take a screenshot and upload it here. Since easypaisa has a limit of maximum Rs25000 per month its acceptance will be manual and on first come first serve basis. Mobicash is not currently accepted. You can call urdubit or email them email@example.com for manual easypaisa details.
After the funds have been deposited please upload a screenshot or the picture of the deposit receipt via the system. To do this first click on My deposits look for arrow with number 1. Then you will see the deposit request as denoted by arrow 2 and then click on Send receipt as denoted by Arrow no. 3. Once you click on that the system will ask you to upload the screenshot or picture of the deposit receipt that you took. Just upload it and wait. Urdubit has a process of 1 business day to realize deposits.
Depositing btc or bitcoin into your urdubit is almost as easy as adding PKR. The biggest advantage for bitcoin lovers here is that they can deposit and withdraw btc anytime even without verification. You can anonymously trade bitcoins after depositing them and cashing out via btc. Hence its a safe haven for bitcoin trades that want to just use pkr as a trading pair with bitcoin.
Click on the button as pointed to buy the arrows:
For whitedev theme the following screen will showup:
Important thing to note here is that you have to generate a new address every-time you want to deposit funds. Please do not send bitcoins twice to the same address as the system wont realize it and it is very difficult to realize them. Once you click that button the following will appear:
Clicking Yes will generate you a QR code to scan through your cell phone and also give you the wallet address please see image below:
Deposits are fully automated and will appear in your wallet once the network confirmations are done. To check the status of the “My Deposit” and will show you the number of confirmations that are currently in progress.
Withdrawing btc is fully automated now. To withdraw btc simply click the following button as shown by the arrows in the image:
Clicking on this link will give you a popup asking you to enter a wallet address. Just enter the amount you wish to withdraw (remember there is a network fee of 0.0001btc) and address you want to withdraw. Once again I would like to remind you that this is instant and there are no reversals.