India has taken another step towards adopting blockchain technology on a large scale thanks to the submission of a draft national strategy on blockchain by the National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG). The document outlines the benefits and challenges of blockchain technology and how it could be applied to various governmental functions, while also mooting the creation of a national digital currency.
India Plans to Lead the Way
NISG has been working on the policy since being tasked with it in July 2019 by the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). In many ways echoing the sentiments of the Chinese government when it announced it wanted to be a world power in blockchain adoption and usage, the paper states how seriously the NISG is taking the opportunities presented by blockchain technology:
India will be one of the leading countries in the world in innovation, education,
commercialization, and adoption of blockchain technology in private and public sectors by 2025.
In addition to this grand ambition, the report states that it foresees “a lot of decentralized applications and a number of permissioned enterprise blockchain applications built in the country in the future that can leverage the infrastructure of a National Blockchain Platform and also move towards secure tokenization of assets on the same.”
A Digital Rupee on the Way?
Part of this blockchain revolution appears to be the potential creation of a national cryptocurrency, or at least the opening of discussions around the idea:
To facilitate innovation, we can examine the concept of a Central Bank Digital INR (CBDR) administered through a National Permissioned Blockchain that can run decentralized applications written in Turing complete programming languages and offers Trust As a Service.
This opening up to a blockchain-powered future comes two months after the government announced the planning of a national framework for blockchain and a week after the Reserve Bank of India reaffirmed that cryptocurrencies are not illegal in the country. Clearly India is waking up to the realization that crypto is not all bad, and with increased acceptance and understanding comes the possibility of a more open crypto trading stance.