Of many countries where the fintech industry is developing, India may have a unique potential. So thinks Elizabeth (Ploshay) McCauley, the Head of Global Business Development in the Indian bitcoin exchange Coinsecure. 

CoinFox asked Mrs McCauley to share her thoughts about working in the industry in general, about its potential, bitcoin charity and the role of women in the digital currency world.

CoinFox: What brought you into the bitcoin space? How do you see the future of bitcoin and blockchain from the perspective of your many years’ experience in the field?

Elizabeth McCauley: I previously worked on Capitol Hill for a member of congress. I learned about bitcoin from a friend at the beginning of 2013 and was taken by the decentralized nature of the concept as well as how Bitcoin truly can empower individuals globally. One element about Bitcoin which attracted me most is how this currency and technology can actually be used to make a difference. Many people talk about “helping those in need” but with Bitcoin, you can actually do so. I chose to leave my position on Capitol Hill and take up an opportunity to run Bitcoin Magazine and the rest is history. I am confident that my decision to get involved in the Bitcoin space was the best career move I have ever made. There is endless potential with digital currency.

In terms of the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology - Bitcoin is an exceptional platform for payments, transfers and record keeping. As Bitcoin is used as a model and platform for additional digital currencies, Bitcoin will continue to become mainstream in 2016. I see that an increased number of traditional global banking institutions are finding value in Blockchain technology and the underlying structure of bitcoin for international transfers and greater security in finance.

We will continue to see banks look into Bitcoin for applications as well as assist and fund Bitcoin related start ups.

I see that 2016 will also witness a growth of use of Bitcoin for services such as remittance, charitable donations and international payment gateways.

I also expect to see an increased number of larger merchants and companies start to accept payment in Bitcoin.

In terms of the price, I cannot make a prediction, but I do see that as Bitcoin continues to gain greater support and becomes more mainstream, the price will go up.

Now is the time to get involved in Bitcoin as there is much potential!

CoinFox: What is your view of the potential role of bitcoin and blockchain in India? How can the technology in general and Coinsecure in particular contribute to the development of digital commerce in the country?

Elizabeth McCauley: We should definitely pay attention to what is happening with Bitcoin in India. India should definitely pay attention to what’s happening in the bitcoin ecosystem. There is much innovation and activity. India is viewed by many to have significant potential for Bitcoin usage and adoption. Many expect a more rapid growth in the Bitcoin ecosystem in India over other countries. India has a large unbanked and underbanked population due to high banking fees and charges. This is where Bitcoin comes in and can help individuals save money by being their own bank. In most rural areas of India, people store bank issued notes, which can be stolen, but by storing Bitcoin, Individuals can recover their Bitcoin at any time if their Bitcoin wallet is stolen or compromised. Bitcoin can drastically improve the financial well being of India’s population.

Right now there are only a handful of exchanges in India - Coinsecure serving as the largest exchange with the most volume. Coinsecure has its own Rest API and fully open order books to provide ultimate transparency to customers. From day one, Coinsecure has been transparent about trading volumes and as a result has been favored by customers.

Coinsecure has been upfront and open with AML and KYC policies to ensure a high level of compliance and integrity.

Coinsecure also has taken the lead in not just providing a solid exchange service but serving the community in India through providing educational lectures on Bitcoin, hosting Hackathons, donating to charities in Bitcoin and serving as a Founding Donor to the BitGive Foundation as well as an Industry Member of the Bitcoin Foundation.

CoinFox:  The company you are working for, Coinsecure, has created three products: Trade Engine, Wallet, Paper Wallet. Would it be a challenge to develop these projects all at the same time?

Elizabeth McCauley: It is great to join such a proactive team at Coinsecure. We at Coinsecure want to provide customers with the highest quality and most secure services on the market. The Coinsecure team has diligently worked to produce the strongest Bitcoin exchange in India. Coinsecure also launched its first off chain wallet service last year in September. Since then we have seen an increase in transaction happening on our wallet. A lot of the users have shifted onto our wallet service as they do not have to go through any hassles of securing their wallet private keys. In the history of Bitcoin, we have seen a lot of users either lose their private keys or have their private keys compromised. Coinsecure secures private keys offline in multiple geographical locations under secure vaults.

Our off chain wallet service is a global service and we have customers all over the globe using our wallet. Our exchange service is only for Indian users or NRI’s who holds Indian Bank Accounts and can provide us with Indian KYC Documents.

As per our analytics, 60% of our users, use Coinsecure through their Smartphones and to provide a better solution for our users , we have created our mobile application which is in testing mode currently and we will be pushing it out by the first week of March. It will enable users to use our wallet and exchange services, as well will provide them a marketplace inside the application itself to do Mobile Recharges, DTH Recharges, Flights & Hotel Bookings, and Voucher Codes etc.

CoinFox: Have you thought about launching any bitcoin charities in India? If so, what would be your priorities in this field?

Elizabeth McCauley: Indian charities as well as international charities servicing India and surrounding countries can certainly benefit from accepting donations in Bitcoin and or use Bitcoin as a mechanism to transfer funds overseas and to more remote areas where there are fewer banks but still wireless connectivity. There is not a clear need for a Bitcoin specific charity persay, but for a greater awareness among Indian charities of the benefits of Bitcoin and digital currencies for donation and international fund transfer applications as well as to enable and empower the individuals these charities are servicing. Most recently Coinsecure raised funds in Bitcoin for the Goonj charity following the Chennai floods.

CoinFox: Last December the Reserve Bank of India admitted that the technology behind bitcoin can help to fight money counterfeiting. Do you see this as a positive development? How favourable, in your view, is the situation with financial regulation in India?

Elizabeth McCauley: The Reserve Bank of India is seeing the potential benefits of Bitcoin and digital currency and most recently acknowledged how the underlying technology of Bitcoin can help prevent counterfeiting.

Just in December the Times of India had a great article and overview on the current regulatory outlook to shed light on perhaps next steps in the coming months. These are solid developments and it is great to see the Indian government take tangible steps to learn more about Bitcoin, blockchain technology and the benefits of both.

CoinFox: Is there anything special about being a woman and a prominent member of the bitcoin community? Do you think the gender proportion in the community is likely to change soon?

Elizabeth McCauley: It has been great to see an increased number of women get involved in the Bitcoin ecosystem whether through serving as CEOs and leaders in the space, or even just using Bitcoin. I remember attending my first Bitcoin conference in May of 2013 and there were very few women involved in the conference. Times are changing now and there are more women presenting at conferences and taking the lead in industry dialogue.

We still need to be mindful, though, that in order for Bitcoin to really take off and succeed, we need women globally using the technology. Women conduct a majority of household spending, so getting women involved in the Bitcoin ecosystem and using Bitcoin is key.


Roman Korizky, Andrew Levich