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Bangalore: ClearTax, an online income tax filing start-up based in Delhi, is giving away Bitcoins worth $1 (approximately 60) or a mobile recharge worth 20 to those who refer friends and family members to the website as part of a promotional campaign.

The company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Archit Gupta called the promotion an experiment to find how many people would go for Bitcoins against a mobile recharge one-third of its value.

ClearTax is “very excited" about Bitcoins, Gupta said. “Tech-savvy users will prefer to take Bitcoin because they can trade it online or convert it to cash whenever they want," he said.

Invented in 2008, Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency accepted by many establishments wordwide including retailers such as Dell Inc. and Overstock.com Inc.

ClearTax (www.cleartax.in), is backed by Silicon Valley accelerator Y-Combinator. This is the first time an Indian company is using Bitcoins as part of a promotion.

“The idea of giving out Bitcoins arose from the pain we see in receiving payments online, and this has the fastest growing ecosystem for payments online. Also, there is a lot of innovation happening in the space and we are happy to promote Bitcoin adoption if people are willing to experiment with this," said Gupta.

Founded by Archit Gupta, Raja Ram Gupta, Ankit Solanki and Srivatsan Chari in June 2011, ClearTax offers a simpler and automated way to file returns compared with the income-tax department’s official interface.

This is the first India-specific product company that has been accepted into Silicon Valley’s oldest start-up accelerator Y-Combinator. The company has also raised $120,000 from Y-Combinator.

ClearTax currently has over 300,000 users, and has partnered with 1,000 chartered accountants, helping them file tax returns, across the country. The Bitcoins for referrals promotion kicked off on Monday night, and will extend up to 31 July.

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