National Payments Corporation of India to Adopt Open-Source Blockchain

May 7, 2019

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organization operating retail payments and settlements, has said it plans to use blockchain technology to improve digital transactions.

As reported by CoinDesk, the NPCI is calling for entities to bid to develop a resilient, real-time, and “highly scalable” blockchain solution through the use of open-source technology. To that end, the organization has so far issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) to develop the solution for the payments space.

As a non-profit organization supported by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — the country’s central bank — and the Indian Banks’ Association, the NPCI is promoted by 10 banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, and HSBC, with 56 banks as shareholders.

The organization provides services, such as check clearance and facilitating digital payments, and has developed an instant payment system called Unified Payments Interface.

Although the status of public cryptocurrencies in India remains a complicated issue, the central bank has been exploring ways to introduce a rupee-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC) into its monetary policy, as it tries to reduce its massive annual bill for producing physical cash.

India has, overall, shown enthusiasm for blockchain technology, with a government think tank, known as the National Institution for Transforming India, developing a blockchain solution for combating the nation’s rampant counterfeit drugs trade.

Moreover, India’s Union Cabinet — the country’s executive decision-making body comprising senior government officials and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — said it would allow research on blockchain technology by the Export-Import Bank in collaboration with banks in the BRICS association of major emerging national economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.


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