Over the last two decades, the Internet transformed the way our society functions in unexpected ways. Nowadays, even as we write this, the world is starting to move into a new era where blockchain technology is beginning to tell a similar story. India is already a hotbed for blockchain related experiments and innovation across IT, telecom, finance, supply chain, and many other sectors. The early signs are clearly visible. Several members of Hyperledger, the open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, are based in India and are actively contributing to the space. Some of them are: Deloitte, Intain Fintech Pte, Kerala Blockchain Academy, Investrata Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, MonetaGo, National Stock Exchange of India, Wipro and R3. This is not surprising given that several winds are favoring the evolution of blockchain in India. Below are some of these:
Unlike some other countries which tried to regulate a technology before they could understand it, blockchain has received tremendous support from the Indian Government. Many foresee it as a foundation for creating a sound digital ecosystem in the country. The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology has been working with companies such as MonetaGo to explore further applications of distributed ledgers across different industries. Various state governments have also come out with initiatives to encourage innovation in the blockchain space. Even at the state level, government entities have encouraged entire industries to explore new potential products and their implications. For example, recently, the Telangana government announced the start of a blockchain district in the state, in partnership with Tech Mahindra. Without this kind of support, it can be difficult for innovation to flourish.
Need for Digital Infrastructure
The Government of India sees digital infrastructure as one of the cores for social and economic empowerment. There have been several initiatives in the country aimed at accelerating the adoption of digital services such as Aadhaar, Demonetization, and the implementation of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST). It is natural that blockchain should fit into these plans, both at the ground and policy level. As per a recent report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the digital adoption in India will become a global case study which will help speed track blockchain technology adoption everywhere else. Organizations which can benefit early on in India are likely to benefit in countless other countries.
Technological Sophistication of workforce
The scale and skill of the Indian workforce puts the country in a position to lead the global tech innovation movement. Businesses are steadily looking to adopt blockchain based solutions to gain a competitive edge. This will push the demand for these solutions as well as relevant skill sets. As a result, we are already seeing the rise of educational programs to cater to this demand. The needle is already moving with examples such as Tamil Nadu state which has already made such courses a part of the school and university curriculum.
Prevention of Financial Fraud
Unfortunately, India has had its share of financials and social scams. The financia debacle of PNB Bank and Nirav Modi earlier this year is a prime example. There, a $2 billion USD loss of public money could have been prevented or preempted with the use of a system which updates the stakeholders in real time. Blockchain perfectly suits this requirement. A Business Process Management solution built on blockchain technology can easily provide crystal clear audibility at every step of a transaction.
India does come with its unique set of challenges in terms of technology adoption for various businesses. However, as blockchain use grows, this scenario will likely change for the better. There are certainly enough reasons and will power to help blockchain related use cases further penetrate various industries in India. What is more, by their very nature, the network effects for a large number of organizations can be expected to increase. And ultimately, this results in benefits for all the people of India.