While Indian government is among the least friendly governments in the world when it comes to cryptocurrencies, it’s very interested in adopting the underlying technology of these currencies known as blockchain. It has only been a while since India’s first blockchain project to facilitate trade financing went live, and now government’s cybersecurity chief has ordered IIT Kanpur to develop a new blockchain architecture that can be used for e-governance.
That’s right – According to a Business Standard report the project worth Rs. 33.4 crore has been commissioned by the office of National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai. IIT-K Professors Sandeep Shukla and Manindra Agarwal are in charge of the project, and they will develop it in collaboration with IIT Madras professor Shweta Agrawal. A company would be formed at IIT Kanpur to transfer the technology into a product that can be utilized by the government for various purposes.
The development of an indigenous blockchain architecture is part of government’s plan to provide secure, reliable and resilient cyberspace to citizens. Blockchain technology has recently emerged as one of the best tools in the world of cybersecurity as it allows tamper-proof record keeping. Popularized by cryptocurrencies, the technology can have its applications in any field that requires records to be kept intact. Potential examples include registry management, land record management, driving license and other identity related programs, government record management etc. A number of countries have already been benefiting immensely from utilization of blockchain in governance, including UAE, UK, US etc. Indian government, therefore, also wants to utilize the technology for its various purposes.
In the recent years a number of state governments in our country have also considered using bockchain technology for a variety of purposes. For example, Andhra Pradesh is trying to map the DNA records of all its residents on the blockchain in a highly ambitious project. Similarly, Maharashtra Government has also thought about the idea of using blockchain for e-governance.
But India Already Lagging in Blockchain Development
However, by making life tough for cryptocurrencies in the country RBI has already dug the grave for country’s blockchain industry. Government may get some of its blockchain projects developed for various purposes from here and there, but that won’t make India a hub of blockchain revolution. The reality is that without crypto economy blockchain technology can’t be utilized to its fullest. There’re a number of great blockchain projects and use cases that require cryptocurrencies to work. Wherever there’s a blockchain project involving payments, crypto tokens ease the work a lot. Without cryptocurrencies that can’t happen. Therefore, banning cryptocurrencies is like cutting one hand of an artist and then asking him to do his job – he may still do his work, but perhaps not as decently as he would’ve done with both hands.