Earlier this year, BankChain, India’s first Blockchain exploration consortium for banks came into existence in Mumbai. And now, the consortium, which was formed to enable banks to explore, build and implement Blockchain solutions which can minimise fraud and maximize efficiency, security and transparency, has unveiled that it has successfully completed work on its first blockchain project, Clear-Chain (c2).

Clear-Chain is basically a permissioned blockchain for integrated and shared KYC, AML and CFT (Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism). The project is currently being tested across the consortium's member banks, with four others on line to be executed in the period of next four months.

For the uninitiated, a blockchain is an anonymous online ledger that makes use of a data structure to make the process of transaction an easier and simpler process. It provides users the ability to manipulate the ledger in a safe way without seeking the support of a third party.

Clear-Chain's current version allows suspicious transaction reports, cross border wire transfer reports, investigation reports and sharing of KYC data. Its records are made available to all of the consortium's members as soon as they are fed into the Clear-Chain. It also comes with a regulator node that provides regulators with granular access to the rich data of Clear-Chain.

Bank-Chain has been formed in collaboration with Primechain Technologies, a young Pune-based startup with a core focus on Blockchain technologies. According to a statement given by its CEO, Shinam Arora to TOI, "The benefits of blockchain technology grow exponentially as the number of collaborators increase. That's why we can see traditional competitors like banks and insurance companies forming consortia to explore a new technology. Once implemented, the benefits of blockchain technology include maximization of efficiency, security and transparency and minimization of fraud."

Blockchain has caught the fancy of many banks in India, with many spending resources and time working on solutions around the technology. State Bank Of India currently has a total of four dedicated resources meticulously working with the BankChain consortium. The bank aims to develop the largest blockchain platform in the world and is currently in the process of setting up a Collaborative Innovation Centre. It has also launched the SBI National Hackathon for startups and developers who are working in emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning. The company believes that Blockchain in banks can only be fruitful if majority of the banks joined the mission.

While work on Clear-Chain is almost on schedule to get completed, BankChain is currently also working on numerous other projects including peer to peer payments, asset registry, cross border payments and syndication of loans.

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