[Tech50] This startup helps you win Bitcoin rewards when you use Swiggy, Bigbasket, Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra
Engineer and techie Mohammed Roshan understands blockchain technology and cryptocurrency well.
It is his deep level of understanding, coupled with stints at crypto exchanges Unocoin and Throughbit, and starting his own crypto — SaffronCoin — that completely sold him on crypto tech.
But for a few years, he was trying to find a way to bring crypto to the masses — people who did not possess a technical understanding of cryptocurrency.
“I identified that the masses, especially in India, were shopping online. Looking at the existing cashback rewards system, I had an idea to start a Bitcoin rewards system. This is how my sister Roshni Aslam and I started GoSats,” he says in a video interaction with BlockchainStory.
A YourStory Tech50 2021 startup,was started by the siblings in Bengaluru in 2021 amidst the crypto bull run and set out to build a simple Bitcoin on-ramp for the Indian masses shopping online.
The name GoSats references ‘sats’, or ‘satoshis’, which are the smallest units of Bitcoin, each equivalent to 100 millionth of the value of one BTC. Sats is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s anonymous founder.
Roshan and Roshni then began integrating various online marketplaces and services on the GoSats app for users to access.
How GoSats works
“Through the GoSats app, we made it possible for anyone to shop on, , , , , etc., and get fractions of Bitcoin, or sats, as rewards,’ Roshan says, adding:
“A GoSats app user can access the Swiggy browser, order food, pay for it, and earn Sats. The Sats are then credited into the user’s GoSats Bitcoin wallet. These Sats can then be withdrawn to any crypto wallet in the world.”
Besides making online purchases through GoSats, users can also buy vouchers, such as Flipkart vouchers, and get Bitcoin rewards for the purchase.
As many firms still remain wary about dealing with crypto, getting brands onboard GoSats was initially challenging. But it became easier after convincing them Bitcoin would only be given as a reward, and would never act as a form of payment, say the founders.
And after rolling out GoSats to the public in May 2021, Roshan and Roshni say they’ve landed over 17,000 users.
With its early traction, GoSats has raised a total of $1.25 million from Fulgur Ventures, SBX Capital, Ajeet Khurana, Sathvik Vishwanath, STACKS, and Alphabit Fund. Out of this, $700,000 was part of its seed round.
Bitcoin rewards card
GoSats is planning to launch a Bitcoin rewards card. Roshni, a finance graduate, says:
“I was fascinated by Bitcoin’s system of transfer of value and the way blockchain technology has evolved. Now to get more of the masses into crypto, we are working on a Bitcoin rewards card. It is like a prepaid rewards card that can be topped up with INR and swiped at almost any point of sale in India.”
She adds the waitlist for GoSats’ Bitcoin rewards card is quickly growing, and that the sibling duo is excited about the card’s imminent rollout.
Similar to some crypto exchanges in India, the GoSats’ founders have seen significant traction coming from India’s Tier II and III towns. They add they’re seeing a lot of young adults and women coming into the fold.
“Crypto has generally been male-dominated but now we see many women and Tier II and III users realising they can earn Bitcoin through GoSats without going through the traditional investing route, which is riskier. Thus, GoSats has become a great BTC on-ramp for these demographics,” Roshan explains.
Future plans amidst regulation
Internationally, there are a few Bitcoin rewards systems such as Fold, Lolli, Coinmiles, etc. But in India, the road ahead is still unclear as the country awaits regulatory clarity from the government on defining crypto.
Despite the lack of clarity, the country has been swiftly adopting crypto. A recent Chainalysis report ranked India second in crypto adoption globally in 2021, behind only Vietnam.
With the market for crypto, spearheaded by Bitcoin, steadily growing in India, GoSats plans to become a hub or home for Bitcoin in India by enabling trading, DeFi, and additional reward systems around Bitcoin.
And like other Indian blockchain startups, GoSats hopes for positive regulation that can make these plans possible.
“We are not an exchange; exchanges form only one part of the crypto ecosystem. Like GoSats, there is so much more innovation possible in other parts of the crypto landscape, and the potential is huge if the technology can be regulated in a positive way,” Roshan says.