Interview: India and the Debate between Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency

Asia Blockchain Review
January 2, 2019

Although having a tough attitude with cryptocurrency usage, India’s government encourages the continue experimentation with blockchain technology, which is the platform of cryptocurrency.

The main reason why India’s government has its contrast may derive from the usage of blockchain in the services sector, which is the key driver of the country’s economic growth. Every year, the services sector attracts the highest direct foreign investment, which is about 55.65 percent of the country’s Gross Value Added and 28.6 percent employee of its total population.

Blockchain technology proves its role-specific in banking, financial services, retail, supply chain, and insurance industries. Which add an extra $5 billion to the Indian economy. These fields also support for the development of other sectors of the economy such as industry or agriculture. Therefore, any technology which can improve these field will be easier to get adoption.  

In India, many blockchain startups and project are helped to aspire by Eleven01, whose partnership with Tech Mahindra. Eleven01 is an outstanding company when it has developed India’s first ever homegrown blockchain protocol, is bringing its ecosystem to life efforts to further India’s blockchain adoption.

The team behind Eleven01 desire to bring India to the forefront of the blockchain revolution. India’s blockchain adoption completely has the ability to skyrocket by using Eleven01’s ecosystem. That also allows other innovations to tap into the world’s sixth largest economy.

Gerald Fenech, a journalist writing about crypto, blockchain, and markets had a short conversation with Rama Iyer, President of Chief Product Office of Eleven01 on this anomalous situation.

First of all, Fenech asked Iyer about the reason why he thinks that the Indian government favor blockchain over crypto.

Rama answered with an assertive attitude that BLockchain is a technology like AL, ML, Data analytics etc. It could bring certain characteristics, features, and value like any other new technology. From that angle, It is necessary for Indian’s government to adapt to its different department and use-case, based on merit. And actually, the Indian government are doing this. They are looking at – Land Registry, Judicial Records, e-Stamping, Transportation, DBT ( Direct Benefit Transfer) and many more. For these reasons, blockchain technology won’t have any concern about being adoption in India.

In contrast, Iyer also explained that crypto still in its early days and more-so outside of the ambit of any regulation or overseeing body. Many scam projects have strained the name of crypto though they way we use crypto to raise capital are quicker than the old one. Indian economy is the sixth economy in the world, which contain a large amount of money every second. Therefore, the government has to take a very practical and pragmatic view on crypto and trying to figure ways to create regulation around it, before it can allow acceptance of business using crypto.

But in conclusion, Iyer asserted that he thought that Indian Government and other govt’s will sê the value of this instrument and join the bandwagon one day.  

Continuing the conversation, Fenech asked Iyer about the reason why Indian government deters legalizing cryptocurrencies.

According to Iyer, the reasons come from both problems of cryptocurrencies and government. Cryptocurrency has added colors of store-of-value, trading, and various ways where people are using it to launder money and for other illegal activities. Besides, the Indian government has to keep the second largest country by population in the world under control and also keep its economy stable. It’s hard for them to take a knee-jerk reaction because they always have to weigh various aspects before it allows any new policy, framework and financial instrument & rightly.

Iyer commented that the Indian Govt. does not want to let nefarious people have any chance to use cryptocurrency for their illegal actors in Indian territory especially money launderers. The Indian Govt is currently studying how to dealing with cryptocurrencies of various other mature government. In Iyer view, it’s a very positive sign when govt. Is approaching to ensure there is enough regulation before cryptocurrency can be allowed as a legal instrument.

About the development of blockchain technology in India, Fenech wanted to know the way it is driving in India and where it is flourishing most in the view of Iyer.

Responding to Fenech, Iyer said that Blockchain is still in its early day in India, but people are seeing a lot of interest and PoC work from both Govt. departments and the private sector. Which is a clear motivation for the development of blockchain technology in India. Blockchain is also seen as a green pasture for engineers and students to build their career on, which mean there will be a lot of applications and solutions on blockchain platforms like Elven01 will come from online sources. With this developing situation, India seems to be one of the markets for blockchain to flourish.

About the belief for India to become the global center for blockchain innovation, Iyer had no hesitation to say that he believes that India will. He cited that the Govt. of Telangana announced its intention to build a “Blockchain District” which will be one of the largest ecosystems for blockchain in the world at the International Business Congress. Partner with the Govt of Telangana this time will be Tech Nahindra, $5 revenue Indian engineering and services company and Eleven01 which is the first and largest blockchain protocol coming out of India. Which are outstanding companies in the technology field in India.

According to Iyer, there’s another factor to push up the student to learn new emerging technologies like blockchain is that India produces a large number of engineers every year and the Govt is encouraging and investing in incubators across the country.  

At the end of the interview, Fenech asked Iyer about what blockchain had solved in India and its potential use in the future to clarify the usage of Blockchain in India.

That’s not a hard question for a master like Iyer. ”The blockchain is doing so well to solve many problems in India”- He said. Until now, It has support to create transparency and trust, including government tenders, create a level playing field or remove corruption from various opaque systems and bring it under the admit of blockchain, which has got a lot of interest and keenness. Besides, Iyer also ensures the potential of many Proof-Of-Concept projects to be got into mainstream production systems soon.

Blockchain technology is not always going well at the moment especially when cryptocurrencies have many scams, but Iyer and many people believe it will have a bright future in the end. Fenech is persuaded, and you?

About Asia Blockchain Review

Asia Blockchain Review is the largest initiative for media and community building in Asia for blockchain technology. It aims to connect all blockchain enthusiasts on a regional scale and facilitate the technological foundation of blockchain through a range of group discussions, technical workshops, conferences, and consulting programs.

Our goal is to cultivate and encourage a collaborative community for our members to gather, share their experiences and endeavors in the blockchain space, and brainstorm the potential uses of blockchain technology.

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