After his father bought Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), Harsh Vakharia found that it was risky to hold cryptocurrency on exchanges that are prone to hackers stealing from them.
Realising that it is also unsafe to store tokens in an electronic wallet — stored on a computer or mobile device — Harsh was inspired to launch Etherbit, a startup that retails hardware wallets.
These wallets are considered safer and more secure than electronic wallets and holding cryptocurrency on an exchange.
“As hardware wallets were not manufactured or available easily in India, I wrote to leading French hardware wallet maker Ledger, which agreed to partner with us and retail their wallets in India,” Harsh says.
Hardware wallets store the user’s private key, a critical piece of information used to sign off on and authorise cryptocurrency transactions.
On its website, hardware wallets begin at a few thousand rupees, but the ones by Ledger and Trezor start at Rs 5,000. The founder says the company is seeing traction from major cities and Tier II and III towns in India.
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“More education is needed to understand crypto tokens better and not confuse it with something else. Although the crypto can be utility tokens, securities, etc., regulators are mostly concerned about the trading aspect.”