What Blocks The Blockchain Growth? Where Is The Innovation Needed?
Banking Frontiers|August 2020
What Blocks The Blockchain Growth? Where Is The Innovation Needed?
Experts discuss the current scenario & future scope of blockchain in BFSI at Technoviti 2020. Edited excerpts:

Girish Bajaj, Blockchain Evangelist

I have seen tremendous improvements in the use of blockchain technology in India, particularly in the BFSI and other sectors. NITI Aayog has done a wonderful job and done several case studies in the fertilizer and healthcare industry. It has done POCs and pilot projects on the blockchain. Further, they are moving in to live projects in the next few months. In 2016, ICICI Bank did its first blockchain transaction and in 2018 HSBC did it's for Reliance Industries.

Indian banks are moving forward in the adoption of blockchain. Startups are vibrant and have given very revolutionary ideas on the use of blockchain. There are plenty of opportunities for blockchain because it is transparent, corruption-free, cost-effective, and operationally efficient. Blockchain will eliminate corruption completely and with required data to store, you can control what you want to release. Currently, the Telangana government has incorporated blockchain for land record registries. There are POC and live projects going on in the other Indian states.

The ROI for the blockchain technology is good in India. About 2-3 years ago, it was expensive to use blockchain. It is important to understand which sector you are in and what blockchain will suit your requirements, then move towards your aim and mission. The cost of blockchain technology will come down in 2- 3 years and banks, enterprises, and even end-users will demand blockchain. As a service, it is available from Amazon and Google. Blockchain helps to avoid security leaks, in terms of controlling what data can be seen by the stakeholders and which can be controlled.

Vikram Pandya, Director Fintech at SP Jain Global:

On the demand side, you have financial services that are looking for innovative solutions. Some of the pilot POCs of blockchain are just PR drive; we need to look at the real work and serious projects and there is a talent requirement for it. India is considered as a follower, not a leader in any technology, and the same is the case with blockchain. If you look at all the talent in India, we may be good at Java, Python, or C++, but how these and other technologies can be used to create blockchain solutions is missing in India.

The focus from our side is to implement certain real-world scenarios rather than just looking at something which is just copy-paste from the stakeholder. Recently, the Maharashtra government has launched farmer lending platforms using blockchain technology; blockchain as an ecosystem will take time to mature. There are certainly made for each other use cases. For example, trade finance, identity management, and supply chain finance solutions are multiple value chains which are now on the blockchain. NPCI Vajra has a blockchain at its core and it is helping to remove the reconciliation requirement.

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August 2020