Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Electronics and IT said, “Blockchain technology (in India) is one of the important research areas having application potential in different domains such as governance, banking and finance, cybersecurity and so on.”
The IT Services sector in India has been booming and is expected to hit $14.2 billion valuations by the end of next year at a growth rate of 6.8%. The stellar performance of the IT sector is what the government of India is banking on to realise its goal of $5 trillion GDP by 2024. The Central Government has been mobilising the country and its institutions to adopt and incorporate tech in their operations. This is where Blockchain plays a major role.
1.Indian Government and the Bitcoin saga:
The government is pushing for the implementation of blockchain technology. However, there have been concerns that the stored data is subject to hacking or wrongful duplication from external sources as the government policies are looking to centralise data. Ever since the RBI put a ban on Bitcoin transactions, it has almost gone into a (metaphorical) war with various agencies who are advocating for free Bitcoin usage. During the winter session, the government was set to introduce its Crypto Bill but recent developments indicate that no such agendas have been agreed upon.
2. Blockchain to solve phone spamming:
All telecommunication companies in India have been instructed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to adopt blockchain technology. This will enable only registered users to engage in telemarketing activities. This proposal will be put into effect come December. This process does not guarantee the complete elimination of phone ‘spamming’ problem but will see to it that the people/organisations responsible are held accountable. Blockchain will allow appropriate agencies to track and locate the perpetrators. Rajan Matthews, director general at the Cellular Operations Authority of India, said that the technology is in place, the steps that ensue require the public to be educated on concepts such as setting their DnD (Do not Disturb) preferences, etc. Telcos are happy with blockchain developments and they hope that AI coupled with Blockchain will rectify all the flaws in telecommunications.
3. Kerala as the blockchain hub of India:
The Kerala Start-Up Mission (KSUM) entered the GITEX Technology Week, held in Dubai World Trade Centre with 18 start-ups. It was the only state representing India. Out of the 18, few like Travelspoc, Embright, Globtec made great advances in their respective competitions with Travelspoc making it to the finals. Most of the start-ups were IT based, dealing with blockchain, robotics, AI, etc. According to a LinkedIn report, India is expected to have the biggest market for blockchain in 2020; Kerala is already gearing up for the challenge. Companies throughout the world are outsourcing blockchain-related activities to India. Kerala, realising the future prospect of blockchain, has established Kerala Blockchain Academy which will provide the students with necessary knowledge and training in blockchain operations. A lot of companies like Alliance Global and Tata Consultancy Services have already established development centres in Thiruvananthapuram. Big companies like Ernst and Young and DLT ledger, who already have a presence in Kerala, are looking to grow and expand. This could mean a lot of blockchains and other IT related job opportunities may be on their way to India, Kerala specifically.
4.Tech Mahindra and Quantoz to simplify operations.:
Tech Mahindra and Netherland-based blockchain application incubator company have entered into a collaboration. They seek to provide Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to facilitate easy and secure payments. Quasar, another platform run on blockchain application, will oversee transactions and take care of miscellaneous operations like conversion of foreign currency and legacy systems. It will enable a one-way flow of cash among different agencies, instant transfers, etc. It works on predefined regulatory and compliance guidelines. Similar to P2P, blockchain will help connect the cars with the manufacturers and other service providers. Communication between all channels is precise and clear, payments can be made in an instant; even to third-party service providers with ease. Tech Mahindra has been developing their blockchain with Quantoz for almost 2 years now.
5. Binance acquires WazirX in a multi-million dollar move.
Binance acquired Mumbai-based crypto exchange platform – Wazir X, for a sum of $10-15 million on the 21st of Nov. By the 25th, people could engage in crypto transactions. In the wake of RBI imposing bans/sanctions of cryptocurrency, Binance’s involvement in the Indian crypto sphere came in as a whiff of fresh air. Indian investors and companies considered this a marker signifying impending prosperity in the near future. Many cryptocurrency companies like Coindelta was forced to close shop following RBI’s decision. Binance mainly trades in Tether (it is a stable currency where one tether equals one US dollar), it will make procuring Tether against INR easier. Tether is the second most traded currency right now. Apart from India, Binance is established in China, the US, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Uganda. Cryptocurrency and crypto transactions are enabled by blockchain, Binance acquiring WazirX greatly affects the blockchain community in India.
6. Blockchain for President:
3 students from Malla Reddy Engineering College for Women took the concept of Blockchain to make voting secure, efficient and easy by eliminating obstacles like waiting to cast the vote, standing in queues and other restraining and harmful factors. Their system was implemented in gated communities and residential streets as it still is in its developmental/experimental phase. The system showed great promise, it made tampering with votes difficult or almost non-existent and it provided a high level of security to its users.
7. Tea Board of India to use blockchain:
Tea Board of India, through an expression of interest (EoI), made clear its intention of adopting end-to-end technology to promote transparency and improve traceability of products and trade operations. The quality of tea has been on the decline due to adulteration, therefore, making distinguishing between good quality tea leaves against bad quality ones difficult. The tea board, plantation owner, manufacturers, etc. have been forced to devalue their product which will run them out of business sooner or later. In a bid to revitalise the stagnating industry, Tea Board of India looks to implement various technologies, one of which is blockchain. Blockchain technology will record all the details pertaining to procurement, manufacturing and delivery of the end product. The Tea Board of India is also looking into the digitisation of the tea trade. Blockchain will enable customers to trace the origin of tea back to the plantation and record any cases of adulteration if any. Blockchain in agricultural, food and other related industries is projected to hit $ 430 million (approx.) by 2023. The impetus of all these industries will be on traceability and tracking, secure payments, data retention and accessibility, risk complaint management, etc. – all of which is greatly enabled through blockchain.