In the race of blockchain technology adoption, India has been performing quite well so far. What’s been even more interesting is the fact that, in spite of the country’s stern stand against Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, it has embraced the technology with open arms. Moreover, to boost the prospects of decentralized systems in India, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi recently addressed a crowd at the Indian Science Congress 2019, stating the potentials of blockchain technology, AI, and Big Data.
During the recent few months, several industries have collaborated with both the central and state government bodies to pursue different blockchain-based projects and set a distinctive identity in the path of digital transformation. In addition, several Indian banks and financial institutions are also pouring in investments and conducting pilot projects based on this nascent technology to protect their customers’ data from vulnerabilities and privacy concerns. Out of many, here are a few of the Indian government’s blockchain initiatives detailed below:
In December 2018, the Karnataka State Government started working with PwC to set up a Karnataka Innovation Authority and introduce a blockchain-based IP Registry platform that would help startups protect their ideas. Saurabh Bhattacharya, director of PwC, stated that the initiative will provide a platform to innovators to set a price for their innovative ideas, where investors would be able to bid for the ideas and buy those ideas.
In the beginning of 2019, the Telangana Government partnered with Cognito Technologies, a UK-based startup, to use blockchain technology to provide individual credit ratings to unbanked people. They have also planned to set up an office in Hyderabad, and work collaboratively with Sthree Nidhi Credit Cooperative Federation Ltd. on the project. As stated, after analyzing the results of the trial for two-three months, the project may be scaled up to a greater level.
In Goa, the Department of Information Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Intel Corporation, Eleven01, and US-based financial software company Intuit, to promote the adoption of blockchain in the state. According to Ameya Abhyankar, secretary of IT department, Intel is contracted to install anti-collision devices on transport buses in Goa, which will record the black spots on roads and help the PWD in their maintenance work. Furthermore, Eleven01 is set to support Goa in exploring various use cases for building an India-specific blockchain protocol.
The state of West Bengal collaborated with the Indian Statistical Institute to set-up a center of excellence on blockchain, to focus on conducting research on the distributed ledger technology and explore better ways of protecting government data. Also, during a two-day global blockchain congress held in the city of Kolkata during December 2018, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority implemented blockchain technology to issue the birth certificate of a new-born baby. This shows how enthusiastic the state is towards the revolutionary blockchain technology.
The Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society has already partnered with Tech Mahindra’s Eleven01 to promote the usage of blockchain in the state. Ramachandran Iyer, chief product officer of Eleven01, confirmed their alliance with the Andhra Pradesh government, stating that together they envision India to be a prodigious blockchain-hub.
Moreover, the Fisheries Department of Andhra Pradesh and the Marine Products Export Development Authority have also signed a MoU with Tata Trusts to launch a pilot project that will track the supply chain of shrimp cultivation in the state. The project will leverage the potentials of blockchain to record the entire supply chain in encrypted form to monitor quality standards.