Indian Government Policymaker Unveils National Blockchain Strategy

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Technological advancements are changing how businesses and many other processes are done. The emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has affected the global financial systems shaking them to the core. One country that is always ready to embrace technological developments is India.

The Asian country ranks among the most notable emerging economies globally in the past several decades. Currently, it occupies the seventh spot with regards to its nominal GDP of $2.72 trillion. The analysis shows that it will overtake the United Kingdom in the next several years. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, envisioned a dream of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

Bitcoin adoption appears to be the key to its economic future to achieve such goals. Also, the government considers the mass adoption of blockchain to enhance its performance and service delivery to over 1.3 billion people.

In that context, a think tank of the Indian government, NITI Aayog, has published its national blockchain policy draft paper known as “Blockchain — The India Strategy.” The draft explains different use cases of blockchain in India, together with some conclusions obtained from the ongoing pilot projects.

NITI Aayog was set up to achieve sustainable development goals by promoting the participation of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process.

The Two-Part Plan

This strategy document targets stakeholders. The key stakeholders include enterprise leaders, government, and enterprise citizens. It aims to debunk the concepts that surround blockchain technology. Moreover, the document seeks to create a robust national plan of action geared towards the implementation of blockchain technology.

Official reports reveal that the policy paper will be released in two different parts. The first part deals with the basic concepts and trust systems. It also covers the ease of doing business, the economic potential of smart contracts and blockchain, and various continuing use cases.

The second part will be released in the coming weeks. It will primarily cover carious recommendations for using the blockchain technology in India.

According to the think tank, the generic features of the distributed ledger technology may represent a paradigm shift in the political economy of the country. It also insists on a rethink of the current engagement of Indian government agencies:

“Government should pay special attention to the decentralized network where peer-to-peer transactions can create more socio-economic value. If state entity is there just to ledger maintenance and not adding some value, then we can relook the role of government.”

For example, the strategy paper explains that for land and property transactions, there might be a DLT based system that can make it pointless for a government entity to keep records.

Pilot Projects Are Informative

NITI Aayog has researched extensively about proof of concepts in four major areas. The research was done trying to determine better the probable hiccups that may arise during the implementation of blockchain technology.

Different pilot projects were set up to help with the research. They included verification of university certificates, a track and trace of drugs in the pharmaceutical supply chain, a transfer of land records, and claims verification and approval in the disbursement of fertilizer subsidies.

Nevertheless, to deploy blockchain at scale, the public and private sectors must be subjected to legal and regulatory alterations. All these were recommendations made by NITI Aayog.

The Future

The second part of the strategy that will be unveiled in the coming weeks will revolve around various recommendations. Hence, it will aim to establish India as a vibrant blockchain ecosystem which will include regulatory and policy considerations. Eventually, it will create a national network for policy solutions together with a procurement process for government agencies to increase the rate of blockchain technology adoption.

This document by NITI Aayog is the second such strategy publication by a government body in recent weeks. In late January, reports emerged that India’s National Institute for Smart Governance had published a draft document on the country’s national blockchain strategy.

The digital Indian rupee, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), and a national blockchain were proposed on that occasion. With the many potential benefits of the blockchain technology emerging, India appears to be getting ready to exploits the opportunities that will come with it.

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