Weeks after the initial announcement made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demonetize 500 and 1,000 banknotes, the financial state of the country seemed to improve. Livemint revealed that 95% of the country’s ATMs were calibrated to support the newly released banknotes provided by the central bank of India.
However, there still is one important issue; the central bank failed to print money using the same dimensions as the previous banknotes. Therefore, without changing or overhauling the entire machine infrastructure, the majority of the country’s ATMs will not be able to dispense cash for the foreseeable future.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, one of India’s largest ATM manufacturers NCR Corp stated that neither the central bank nor the local authorities shared any information on the alteration of banknote dimensions. The central bank did not consult its ATM providers and commercial banks to see if the newly designed banknotes are applicable to the country’s existing ATMs.
When Navroze Dastur, NCR Corp India managing director heard the news on TV, he called in an emergency meeting to find a way to allow its 200,000 ATMs in the country to dispense the newly introduced banknotes as soon as possible.
Dastur immediately collaborated with regulators and other ATM makers at the central bank of India to establish a strategy for the manual configuration of approximately 400,000 ATMs in the country. Dastur also noted that it would take approximately 2 months for the NCR Corp team to configure its ATMs, which account for around half of India’s ATMs, which is a significantly long period of time for the general population to deal with.
As reported before by Cointelegraph, Indian households, workers and businesses are struggling to finance daily operations and pay for basic things like rental fees, food, transportation and utility bills. With only 35% of the country’s ATMs operational and NCR’s projection of 2 months for manual configuration, Goldman Sachs and other leading financial institutions firmly believe that something close to a barter system network will take over the nation’s monetary system.
Bitcoin appeals to the masses
With the local authorities seizing and confiscating gold from businesses, households and individuals, the only safe haven asset which the Indian general population could rely on are Bitcoin.
Unlike most traditional forms of storing of value, Bitcoin offers high liquidity, decentralization and transportability, which gold and of course, cash, fail to offer.
LocalBitcoins trading volume in India is on the rise and exchange like Coinsecure and Unocoin are seeing a substantial increase in their daily trading volume as well.