Mobile banking has indeed emerged as a way to end financial exclusion, a chronic problem in all emerging markets. In India, payments worth almost $60 billion are now taking place every month via wireless devices, three-fifths more than ATM withdrawals. A year ago, cash was ahead by 37%. At this rate of digital adoption, the lead of cheques might also soon vanish.
Srinivasan’s advocacy has thus come at a crucial time. A digital wallet that can handle both central bank-issued electronic cash and cryptocurrencies will end up “giving every Indian the ability to make both domestic and international transactions of arbitrary complexity, attracting crypto capital from around the world, and leapfrogging the 20th century financial system entirely,” he says in his blog post.