India cautious with blockchain but will embrace its power nonetheless, Oxford Analytica Briefing finds.
The Indian Reserve Bank may be wary on blockchain but regional India as well as players in banking and finance are looking to embrace the powerful technology despite the RBI’s reservations. This is according to a recent report by Oxford Analytica presented at Horasis India Meeting in Malaga, Spain last weekend.
The RBI issued a ban from July onwards on all cryptocurrencies operating on the Indian exchange though the Oxford Analytica Report believes this won’t keep Indian traders from trading over foreign exchanges. The report went on to state that despite growing interest among traders of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, the ban will only slow down India’s potential in this growing marketplace.
The technology is preferred for its “incorruptibility” by third parties and the report believes that it can be key in tackling the systemic corruption within India that makes the country the 81st most corrupt country in the world according to Transparency International’s Index on corruption.
The report highlighted other innovative uses of blockchain technology to solve problems that are both national and regional.
For example, the report notes that despite the government’s lukewarm response to blockchain it is already being used by the government’s policy planning unit NITI Aayog to help ensure that Aadhar ID cards aren’t susceptible to misuse by hackers.
Regional governments are also taking the initiative in using blockchain technology to solve everyday problems. Andhra Pradesh is using blockchain to unblock cumbersome land registry cases whereas the coastal state of Kerala has recently begun implementing it in supply management chains in vital goods like milk, vegetables and fish.
The report also concluded that the biggest challenge towards greater penetration of blockchain in India–outside of government reservations– are education and lack of comprehensive access to the internet. Only 0.25% of India’s engineers have skills in blockchain according to an ET article cited but the Oxford Analytica report.
The Oxford Analytica briefing was released in coordination with the Horasis India Meeting, a summit on a plethora of business-related panels and a chance for Indian business leaders to be showcased to the world. This year’s edition marked the tenth time it has taken place and Frank-Jurgen Richter, founder of Horasis, has confirmed that the next event will be in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Tech Panda contributor Tim Hinchliffe attended the conference and noted how many of the panels had congregated around the crucial topic of education: “As for moving forward with Indian initiatives that could leverage technologies such as the IoT, smart cities, and blockchain, the debates at the Horasis India Meeting boiled down between the optimists and the pessimists, with the optimists far outweighing the pessimists,” Hinchliffe concluded.