Will someone with millions of cash in his bank account become bankrupt if the government switches over to cryptocurrency overnight? Just like the demonetization in 1969 in the US, where a part of the fiat currency became “valueless” by the government?
So, should you withdraw all your money and buy bitcoins? Or this is just a bubble which will burst the moment many switch to crypto-coins?
This situation reminds me of a railway station like scenario, with many people waiting in a long queue to buy tickets. And suddenly another ticketing window opens and people at the back rush to form another queue and end up being luckier.
Is cryptocurrency this new window in world finance?
What decides the value of money?
Do you know why $20 is more than $100?
Is it just because 20 is more than 10 mathematically; or there is more to it than just mathematics?
Definitely there is more to it than just mathematics; because here we are not talking about 20 but about 20 “dollars”.
$20 is more than $10 because you can buy more white rum in your cocktail with $20 than that with $10.
“The writer here is buzzed”, you might say after reading this very obvious and un-related example.
But it is the purchasing power of a coin or a rupee note which decides its value. So $20 is more than $10 just because it has more purchasing power.
Considering today’s scenario- 2 cents is the same as 1 cent, because both of them can buy you nothing. The same can happen with $20 as well after a few decades.
So, the value of money is defined by its purchasing power and not by its mathematical power.
Who decides the value of money?
The value of money, or the purchasing power of money, is decided by the government of that country in which it is used as a mode of payment. So, the value of a USD is decided by the government of the USA’s central bank – the Federal reserve, generally called as “the Fed”.
If the Fed prints more currency and floats it in the market, then the goods in the market become expensive.
This is because of the excessive currency or cash in the market, which increases the buying capacity of the people. As the buying capacity increases, the demand for that set of goods increases, which increases its price in the market.
So, a chocolate which was costing $2 earlier can cost $2.5 now due to this move by the central bank. Hence, $2 is devalued or the value of $2 is reduced, as it can no more buy you the same chocolate.
You can understand it as – The value of money is reduced by adding more money in the system.
You can also relate it to an age old adage in Hindi – “Jada paisa aa jaata hai logo ke paas, to uski kadar nahi rehti.”
Now that we know what decides the value of money and who decides it, we can find answers to whether cryptocurrency can replace the current fiat currency. Let’s find out!
Cryptocurrency – What is cryptic about it?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency which is run by a group of computers. One bitcoin (or any currency) is formed when a group of computers solves a complex mathematical equation to form a block and make the working easier. One block is formed at a time, and these blocks form a chain called a blockchain, inside which all the transactions are stored in digital format.
At the initial stage of the cryptocurrency boom, Bitcoin appeared to be the leader. Fast forwarding to current year, Bitcoin represented for the vast majority of the industry’s market capitalization.
Then, in a period of just weeks, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin and other currencies rushed to catch up. Although Bitcoin is still the front-runner, the swift turnover in the industry has many analysts debating if cryptocurrencies are actual currencies or not.
The formation of a new cryptocurrency block is called mining of cryptocurrency. Once the network of blockchain is strengthened to a point where there are no more anomalies, the mining of that cryptocurrency will stop. Hence, the supply of cryptocurrency is limited.
As you are reading, there are thousands of computers working day in and out to solve complex mathematical equations and forming blocks to make the blockchain stronger.
Hence, this is a cryptic form of currency as no person is involved in its formation. Nobody knows anything! Infact, the founder of bitcoin (the first cryptocurrency) is still not known to the world.
Does cryptocurrency qualify to replace paper money?
Just like there is the dollar, rupee, yen, rand, etc as different forms of fiat currency; there is ethereum, ripple, bitcoin, cardano, etc. as different forms of cryptocurrency.
Just as the purchasing power gives fiat currency its value; similarly cryptocurrency can be given its value by defining its purchasing power.
So, a mobile phone manufacturer can sell his mobile phone at 0.5 ethereum(a cryptocurrency) which defines the purchasing power of an ethereum to begin with.
After giving cryptocurrency its value, it is time to find out what will change (increase or decrease) its value?
The value of cryptocurrency can be changed by the buyers and the sellers using it only; unlike in the case of fiat currency where there is a government to change its value.
As in the above example of the mobile phone manufacturer, the buyer can decide if he finds 0.5 ethereum as its correct value. The buyer and seller will eventually find a consensus to a certain price.
Limited supply of cryptocurrency
The most important aspect of cryptocurrency is that its supply cannot be increased, as discussed earlier. The number of bitcoins, for example, is fixed at 21 million. Mining of bitcoins will stop after 21 million bitcoins are mined; after which no new supply of bitcoin can occur in the market.
So, cryptocurrency cannot be devalued or revalued once all the currency is mined, unlike in the case of fiat currency which is regulated by the central bank. Hence, cryptocurrency is called a decentralized currency.
It is all in the hands of the buyers and sellers to determine its purchasing power. As the blockchain of any cryptocurrency does not belong to any particular nation, its value will be unanimously driven by all the people of the world.
So we have our answer to – “Does cryptocurrency technically qualify to replace paper money?” And the answer is – yes.
Potential of a cryptocurrency future
Prominent figures of modern business as Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, co-founder of Apple Corporation, Steve Wozniak, as well as Elon Musk, expressed the hope that bitcoin has every chance of becoming the global payment instrument in the next decade. It can then become the native currency of the internet for sure.
The reserves of gold with a government governs the fiat currency as well indirectly. Cryptocurrency removes the disadvantages of gold and has the convenience of digital currency. The supply of gold is not predictable and hence its value is uncertain to a certain extent. The supply of cryptocurrency is limited and the flow is predictable too.
One of the most significant advantages of cryptocurrencies is that it is a decentralized currency. Hence, the idea of a universal basic income can be implemented by cryptocurrency. Also the universal prices of goods and services can be fixed with its use. This will keep a unanimity of prices during international travel as well.
Challenges to overcome
Cryptocurrencies need to overcome a few challenges to become global and widespread.
Backed up by technology
The cryptocurrencies must ensure trust and become legitimate in the eyes of governments and regulators. The evolving technology of blockchain must convince the regulators and the people that it is well equipped to carry the burden of the world economy on its shoulders.
Reduce volatility in price
The price of any cryptocurrency is highly volatile due to its speculative nature of trading. Due to this high volatility currently, it is putting-off the regulators who need stability of the platform before planning around it. The prices need to settle down in a range bound manner which will happen as more mining occurs and the faster it occurs.
Tie-ups with payment merchants and retailers
The cryptocurrency miners must bring advantages to both merchants and consumers. They must also allow for global reach in the payment market. To do this, alliances must be formed with key shareholders – mobile apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, card providers such as Visa and MasterCard, and retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart.
Electricity requirement for miners
Mining of cryptocurrency requires huge amounts of electricity. It will mean forming the pillars of the world’s only centralized financial system on the foundation of electricity requirements.
As digital money spreads, the need for mining will increase. The different conditions and prices of electricity in different countries can control the mining activities. To envision a smooth transmission towards a fully digitized platform, the financial system needs to be ready to overcome any kind of electricity shutdown or any possible cyber-attack.
The transition won’t be smooth
We know what repercussions the demonetization of 2016 in India or that in the US in 1969 had on the common man. People struggled to comply with the new norms, leaving the cash needy people to suffer. A changeover from fiat to crypto currency will see problems of higher magnitude.
If cryptocurrency overtakes cash in terms of usage, traditional currencies will lose their worth and value without any means of recourse. If cryptocurrencies take over entirely, new infrastructure shall have to be established in order to help the world to adapt. Established financial institutions would be expected to scramble to change their ways and means.
There would definitely be inconvenience with the transition, as cash could become incompatible quickly, leaving some people with lost assets.
This answers one of our questions – “How soon will cryptocurrency replace paper money?”
For the transition to be smooth, if there is any, it must happen slowly. Hence, seeing a worldwide capture of cryptocurrency is highly unlikely in this decade; though few nations can manage to do it before time as well.
The year 2018 saw the initial bitcoin mania when it had gained everyone’s attention. The number of businesses accepting bitcoin as a medium of exchange has diminished considerably after 2018. This is bringing increased skepticism about its use as a medium of exchange.
India’s stance on cryptocurrency
The ban on trading/buying/holding of cryptocurrencies was lifted by the Supreme court of India in March, 2020. Though, it still remains unregulated by RBI – India’s central bank.
Last month, the government introduced the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 during the Budget session of the parliament. RBI also suggested that it plans to bring a digital version of the Indian rupee and “was exploring the possibility as to whether there was a need for a digital version of fiat currency and in case there was, then how to operationalise it.”
How soon to shut the banks and switch over to crypto?
The “can it, will it” is a question we all are seeking an answer to. By now, we know that cryptocurrency “can” be replaced as a legal tender and can wash away the paper currency. It is developing day by day and posing challenges for the prevalent paper currency. In today’s world, very soon “can” becomes “will”; and finally we may get to hear, it “has”!
Unless there is a drastic fundamental shift from traditional finance to decentralized finance, the chances of cryptocurrency replacing fiat currency are slim. Although the adoption of cryptocurrency is on the rise, their popularity is primarily driven by the need to store its value and speculative trading – not for transactional purposes.
But we must be prepared for the future, after all, that is what our experience has taught us!
Private Company vs Public Company
The difference is more than literal
Do you know why you cannot buy shares of a private company?
So, can you only buy shares of a public company like ONGC, IRCTC, Indian Oil, etc.?
Then why are the shares of private companies like Infosys and Wipro listed on the stock exchange? Are these private companies to begin with?
Do you know a private company cannot have more than 200 members?
OMG! Somebody please answer all these questions.
Yes, the difference is more than literal.
Let us have a cut and dried distinction between a private and a public company.
Definition of Company
Let us take the bull by its horns and get the definitions out from the textbooks.
Companies Act 2013
A company is a legal entity that is formed by different individuals to generate profits through their commercial activities.
Majorly, a company can be classified into two strands- public company and private company.
Before knowing the difference between a public company and a private company, it is of utmost importance to check on the definitions of a public company and a private company as per the Companies Act 2013.
According to the Companies Act, 2013, a “public company” is a company which—
(a) is not a private company
(b) has a minimum paid-up share capital of five lakh rupees
According to Section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, private companies are those companies whose articles of association restrict the transferability of shares and prevent the public at large from subscribing to them.
According to the Companies Act 2013, a public company has to mandate all legal proceedings which are not mentioned in the definition under Section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, which pertain to a private company.
Difference Between a Public And Private Company
Let’s look at all the major pointers which differentiate a public Company and a private company.
Minimum Number of Members
In a public company, a minimum of 7 members is required to form a company; whereas a private company requires at least 2 members to form a company.
Maximum Number of Members
In a private company, a maximum of 200 members can be present to form a company; whereas in a public company there is no such restriction on the maximum number of members to form a public company.
Invitation To Public
A public company can freely invite the public for subscription, which implies it can issue a prospectus. On the other hand, a public company is prohibited from inviting the public for its share capital, which means a private company cannot issue a prospectus.
Number Of Directors
In a private company, a minimum of 2 directors is required; whereas in a public company, a minimum of 3 directors is required.
Transferability Of Shares
There is no restriction on transferability of shares in a public company; whereas in a private company there are complete restrictions on transferability of shares, through its article of association.
A public company must disclose the annual financial report; whereas for a private company, there is no such obligation to disclose their annual report to the public.
Index Of Members
In a public company, it is mandatory to maintain an index of all members in the company, whereas in a private company, it is not needed to maintain the index of its members.
The minimum paid-up capital for a private company is Rs. 1 lakhs; whereas the minimum paid-up capital for a public company is greater than that of a private company. It is Rs. 5 lakhs for a public company.
In case of a public company, it is defined that total managerial remuneration cannot exceed 11% of net profits and in the case of inadequate profit, the maximum amount to be paid is Rs. 87,500. Whereas in a private company there is no such restriction on the maximum cap for directors’ remuneration.
Quorum For Meetings
In the case of a public company, it is mandatory to have a personal presence of five members in a meeting to constitute quorum, whereas in a private company, it requires a minimum of two members to maintain a quorum for meetings.
Below is an array with a list of pointers that differentiates a public company and a private company.
|S.NO||BASIS||PUBLIC COMPANY||PRIVATE COMPANY|
|1||MINIMUM MEMBERS||AT LEAST 7 MEMBERS||AT LEAST 2MEMBERS|
|2||MAXIMUM MEMBERS||NO MAXIMUM LIMIT||CAN’T EXCEED 200 MEMBERS|
|3||INVITATION TO PUBLIC FOR SHARE CAPITAL||POSSIBLE WITH THE HELP OF PROSPECTUS||CAN’T INVITE PUBLIC FOR ITS SHARE|
|4||NUMBER OF DIRECTORS||MINIMUM OF 3 DIRECTORS||MINIMUM OF 2 DIRECTORS|
|5||TRANSFERABILITY OF SHARES||FREELY TRANSFERABLE||RESTRICTIONS ON TRANSFERABILITY|
|6||ANNUAL REPORT||COMPULSORY TO SUBMIT ANNUAL REPORT TO ROC||NOT A MANDATE TO SUBMIT ANNUAL REPORT TO ROC|
|7||INDEX OF MEMBERS||MAINTAINING INDEX OF MEMBERS IS MANDATE||NO NEED TO MAINTAIN INDEX OF MEMBERS|
|9||DIRECTORS/MANAGERIAL REMUNERATION||CANNOT EXCEED 11% OF NET PROFIT||NO LIMIT / NO RESTRICTIONS|
|10||QUORUM FOR MEETINGS||5||2|
“The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.”- Benjamin Franklin
It is always better to be well versed with the tools of one’s own trade and the management of the inflows and outflows.
An avid tradesman associates their trade to generate profits and simplify the trade complexities by forming a company. These differences stated above lay down the basics of companies and form a guided path for a better approach to start with a company.
Here Is Why Entrepreneurs Should Go Out and Start Networking
Don’t hide behind. Face your circles. It’s high time you start networking.
We have often watched Hindi films where protagonists aspire to be a rich men as a kid. And hence they start thinking of different business ideas to be successful.
Well, this happens in reality as well. Who doesn’t dream of starting their own business one day, right?
However, business is not as easy as eating a piece of cake. And no, you don’t need to have a Ph.D. or an MBA degree to start a business.
You just need to have clarity of thoughts; about the business idea, sales and marketing, and most importantly, NETWORKING.
Today, everyone needs everything. The circle of needs and demands has become wider. Everything in entrepreneurship is becoming more interconnected. Just like the Past, Present, and Future in the web series “Dark”.
Networking is the one and only way to get to know what’s around you. From having conversations with your parents to your fruit vendors or even your house helps, you never know what brings you to the peak of your business.
We will share our two cents to convince you enough to go out and start networking if you are a budding entrepreneur. Pardon us if these two cents become 4 or more, but you will definitely not regret reading this till the end.
Entrepreneurship And Networking
The first thing that any budding entrepreneur does, while starting their own business, is to spread the word about it.
The first set of people that they talk to are their family, friends, and even banks (for financial purposes). Although these efforts may or may not materialize into something fruitful, you learn a thing or two about the ABCs of networking.
Networking is one way to get clarity of thoughts about your business. It’s like building a blueprint of your business in mind. You not only know the industry better but also get to know the loopholes and healthy shortcuts that will save time and increase efficiency.
In the ABCs of business, “A” stands for “recognizing the needs and expectations of people around you.”
Networking is the first step to recognize the gap between demand and supply. It’s similar to providing electricity to those areas with no light, and the idea and motivation behind it.
So now that you are still reading, let’s go further and discuss the importance of networking in entrepreneurship:
Builds Trust And Respect
You may or may not earn money every day from your business. But once you earn trust and respect in the market, there is no way that people will forget you easily.
It’s a fact.
Earning money is easy.
But earning trust and respect takes more effort.
Networking with your business peers or veterans will get you noticed. Initially, you won’t find them paying heed to you, but once they do, they are never going to leave you.
People believe in aggressive marketing to increase sales and business. But try aggressive networking instead, and there will be no stopping for you in the future.
Remember, making friends in schools and colleges? It’s a similar situation in entrepreneurship, too.
Going social is one way you get confidence in networking with people in the future.
Did you ever come across someone who would go to a restaurant with you and start talking to the waiters and receptionists?
Well, you may feel awkward about it, but that’s their first step to get to know the surrounding market.
Start from a party that you attend, be it a family party or a party with friends. Join a group of your choice and listen to the conversations. Once you get the grip of it, start by putting forth your views and then turn it around to your business idea. This may look boring and slow, but slow and steady will definitely win the race.
Today, there are many millennial-made apps, like Bumble, LinkedIn, etc. that encourage people to build an entrepreneurial network in any industry of their choice. Start posting. Start swiping right to the connections that interest you.
For that matter, you can even join dating apps to build professional connections. Your first conversation about your business will be a good ice-breaker (You’ll thank us later for this pro tip).
Don’t Be Selective In Your Own Circles
A very common mistake that most “choosy” or “picky” people do, is being very selective in deciding who to network with.
Today, almost all industries are interconnected. A top-class hospital will always need catering or food services for their staff and patients. A hotel will always want to have options for good clothes vendors for room and restaurant linen.
So if you limit yourself to one or two industries, and sideline others, chances are that you may lose a lot of opportunities.
Expand yourself. Even if you are not sure about it at first. Take that first call that says “our budget is low”, when you know that you have a different area of expertise to explore.
Your Shyness And Fear Will Only Put You Behind The Race
Entrepreneurship requires you to go “out-of-your-circles” more than going “out-of-the-box”.
You are likely to face uncomfortable situations all the time. You have to become an extrovert if you are a highly introverted person. You can’t hide from people who you dislike. You can’t say goodbye to those people whom you are done working with.
Your fear, your shyness will start putting you behind the race of a successful entrepreneur.
You have to be outspoken. Pave your way and lead it too. Take others along the way and build a huge business “family”.
Remember Abhishek Bachchan in the film “Guru”?
No, you need not be exactly like him, but you are expected to know why to be like him. And take your own decisions from the existing lessons.
It’s A Long Road That Will Definitely Lead You To Your Vision
Networking is a continuous process. You don’t stop after a certain level of achievement.
Starting a business is not enough, you have to keep it running. And for that purpose, you may need to explore your potential networks.
It’s often expected from budding entrepreneurs to network only with business-minded people to start and run a business successfully. What they don’t realize is that business is made by people, for people, and with people.
So start networking – whether virtually, or face-to-face. Get that business idea in place, get started with your plans, and you will surely reach a place where you can write “successful entrepreneur” in your social media bio.
2021’s India Is Atmanirbhar: 10 Desi Unicorn Startups
With 10 startups joining the unicorn club in just 4 months of 2021, is India moving towards Atmanirbhartha?
The Many Firsts of a Fantastic First Quarter of 2021!
The Indian startup ecosystem got an impressive start in the first quarter of 2021. As per Venture Intelligence, Indian startups witnessed the highest investment in two years, and the capital flow was $4.2 billion!
This is not all.
Most of the startups saw a three-fold hike in valuation in their recent funding rounds. And among these, 10 got valued at more than $1 billion.
And hence, the Indian startup ecosystem received its new set of unicorns.
The unicorn story of 2021 is unique.
Because it is the one with many firsts.
The first health tech, social commerce, e-pharmacy, and infrastructure technology that made its way into the unicorn club.
According to the NASSCOM report, India will have 50 unicorns by the end of 2021.
But many industry experts and research firms believe that, if the current rate continues, India would easily surpass this number.
Here is the list of 10 Indian startups that gave 2021 a pleasant start.
- Digit Insurance
- Five Star Business Finance
The Beginning of Unicorn
If you know any entrepreneur personally, you may have an idea how difficult it is to raise the funds for a startup. It is definitely not a cakewalk.
The fundraising usually begins with family and friends. And as the company expands, it approaches angel investors, and then goes for the venture capitalists for the fund acquisition.
Even though it is a tough task for any startup to gain the investors’ confidence, some horses pass this race and achieve the unicorn tag.
For those who are new to the concept of unicorn, it is a startup that has a valuation of $1 billion or more in the venture capital industry. And Aileen Lee, the founder of Cowboy Ventures, coined the term ‘unicorn’ in 2013.
And since then, startups are continuously striving to attain this prestigious status.
India Didn’t Have a Great Start
When Aileen Lee coined the term ‘unicorn’ in 2013, the United States had 39 unicorns.
You may ask, what about India?
There was only one company called InMobi, the mobile-advertising services provider, that could make it to the unicorn club.
India was nowhere closer to the US in the matter of unicorns. The reasons were many:
- Limited funding
- Inadequate infrastructure
- A plethora of social and cultural challenges
- Lack of talent
- College students found entrepreneurship unappealing compared to the management jobs in large IT firms.
- The aspiring entrepreneurs often got rejected by the prospective brides and their families.
India Slowly Picked Up the Pace
Even though India’s unicorn story had a not-so-brilliant start, the current scenario looks promising.
As per Venture Intelligence data, there were only 10 unicorns until 2018, and since then, there has been the addition of 28 unicorns.
For an Indian startup, on average, it would take up to 8 years to turn into a unicorn.
India’s oldest startups, like Naukri.com, MakeMyTrip, and Justdial, which began its operation prior to 2005, took 15 years to achieve the unicorn title.
But this period has shrunk in recent times.
A recent report by Orios Venture Partners shows that the newer technology firms are hitting the billion-dollar mark in less time than their older counterparts.
The younger enterprises such as Swiggy, Rivigo, Razorpay, and Unacademy joined the unicorn club in 5 years on average. Whereas, Udaan, Ola, Electric, and Glance took just 2.4 years!
What could be the reason for this transition?
As per the Orios Venture Partners report, the reason behind the younger startups turning unicorn sooner could be:
- The prior entrepreneurship experience of the founders of these companies
- These founders know how to secure the funds more efficiently
- The growth mindset
There are two other reasons the investors from India, and all over the world, are backing the Indian startups with their funds:
- Indian startups leveraged the changing consumer behavior and quickly tweaked themselves to satisfy the needs of the customers
- These companies started functioning on the fact that “Focus on the market and the customers will ensure your growth”
Will ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Soon Be a Reality?
India’s honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, raised a clarion call to the country to be self-reliant, aka Atmanirbhar in all senses.
He also outlined the five pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat:
- Demography, and
You may ask, how startups can help in making India self-reliant?
The Indian startup ecosystem had a slow and steady evolution from one sector to the other, ranging from IT/ITES to e-commerce, deep technology to hyper delivery networks.
Today, startups also have the most favorable conditions to survive and flourish, starting from the funding, development of regulatory infrastructure, global mergers and acquisitions, the influx of global investors to internationalization.
Do you know what brought this revolution to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem?
It is the government’s mission to get as many entrepreneurial stories as possible through its programs like Startup India, Stand up India, Digital India, and Vocal for Local.
And the unicorn forms one-tenth of new industries coming into existence every year.
The increase in the number of tech unicorns is driving the investors’ interest in India’s startup ecosystem.
According to a report by NASSCOM, the startups in the technology field alone have created 60,000 direct jobs in 2019.
These data show that, if more startups come into existence, and get support from the investors and from the government, India could see a greater spike in job opportunities.
Atmanirbhar citizens make Atmanirbhar Bharat, don’t you agree?