Logo CommuniQA Issue 47
Feb 2018
Logo Swan
Dear Readers,
Greetings from Swan Solutions!
Cryptocurrencies have been around for more than a decade now, though its popularity truly soared in the past year. The central government has however decided to oust them in the country, with Arun Jaitley stating in his recent budget speech that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender or coin.
While this might be the beginning of the end of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in India, there seems to be some positive news for the technology behind cryptocurrencies-the Blockchain!
Jaitley categorically mentioned that the "Government will explore use of Blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy."
The potential of this distributed ledger technology is only beginning to get realized. In the banking and financial sector, Blockchain promises to bring in operational efficiencies, improve customer experience and ensure transparent/immutable transactions. This is particularly relevant in the current scenario where we begin to hear many large bank frauds.
And, it's not just the BFSI sector, there are many exciting use cases for retail, travel, healthcare, telecommunications and public sector as well.
It's probably a bit too early and speculative to predict the future of this technology; but it does hold the potential to be a disruptor in the true sense.
Tech Trend
Blockchain and Its Future in India
Blockchain and Its Future in India
"Blockchain (also called distributed ledger), the technology enabling cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, is pulling us into a new era of openness, decentralization and global inclusion. It leverages the resources of a global peer-to-peer network to ensure the integrity of the value exchanged among billions of devices without going through a trusted third party," states a survey published by World Economic Forum.
The era of blockchain is finally emerging. Experts call it "the second generation of Internet" - a global force of disruption for almost all the industries across the world.
In India, Blockchain technology has gained much traction in the last couple of years, with banks, financial organization and the government actively exploring multiple use cases. The ecosystem as a whole is actively exploring the applications of Blockchain beyond Bitcoin, the digital currency which became quickly popular.
The BFSI sector in fact has been on the forefront of adoption globally, with almost 80% of the banks initiating Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects by 2017.
Multiple Indian banks and financial organizations are in the process of validating blockchain applications such around Trade Finance, Cross-border Payments, Bill Discounting, Supply chain financing, Loyalty and Digital Identity areas.
BankChain, community of banks for exploring, building and implementing blockchain solutions, formed in February 2017 with State Bank of India being the first member, now has 33 members. Many of these banks are exploring blockchain-based KYC, smart contracts, and more.
Niti Aayog, the government's premier policy making body, is reportedly exploring the use of blockchain technology in legally approved areas such as education, health and agriculture.
At the same time, Indian players face many challenges before these pilot projects move to the next level. Lack of awareness, integrations and data security and lack of standardized platforms are among the key concerns that need to be tackled.
Expert Tip
Understanding the Limitations of Blockchain
Understanding the Limitations of Blockchain
While Blockchain offers innumerable possibilities, it does come with its own limitations, especially because the technology in itself is nascent. Tech leaders need to pay attention to the limitations of current blockchain platforms, in order to take informed decisions. Scalability, lack of governance, lack of proven business cases, security related concerns etc need to be addressed initially. Integration challenges too are plenty. It's thus important to plan your investment in this technology by doing PoCs and narrow-scope deployments rather than plunging into actual implementations. Also consider the long-term business models and next-gen platforms before making further investments.
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