India Plans to Issue a National Blockchain Framework

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[NEWS BLOG]: India Plans to Issue a National Blockchain Framework

The Indian government is preparing a national framework to support the wider deployment of blockchain use cases.

Minister of state for electronics and IT (MeitY) Sanjay Dhotre said Wednesday that the government is drafting an approach paper on the National Level Blockchain Framework which discusses the potential for distributed ledger technology and the need for a shared infrastructure for different use cases. 

Dhotre made the announcement in a letter addressing questions about blockchain from members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament.

In particular, MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma asked whether the government had encouraged and conducted research into potential uses for blockchain technologies, and if so what the outcome of this research is. 

In response, Dhotre wrote, “MeitY has identified Blockchain Technology as one of the important research areas having application potential in different domains such as Governance, Banking and Finance, Cyber Security and so on.” 

According to the letter, the Indian government has already built the Distributed Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology, a project that develops and conducts research on blockchain technologies and their use cases. 

The project is executed by government and research institutions, including the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing and the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology. 

Under this initiative, the institutions have piloted a blockchain system for property registration at Shamshabad District, Telangana State, developed proof-of-concept solutions for Cloud Security Assurance, C-KYC and trade finance. 

Other ongoing projects include authentication of academic certificates with a proof-of-existence framework, and vehicle life cycle and hotel registry management.  

There have been a slew of blockchain projects under development in India. 

Last month, India’s information technology services provider Tech Mahindra announced it was teaming up with Netherlands-based blockchain application incubator Quantoz to provide secure digital payments.

Tata Consultancy Services has also launched a multi-brand consumer loyalty platform on R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda the same month. 

India's defense minister Rajnath Singh also stressed the potential use cases of blockchain in the defense industry in a public speech on Nov. 4. 

While the country might be embracing blockchain, it has created regulatory challenges for cryptocurrency businesses. 

The government has proposed fines and jail time for cryptocurrency uses in July, and Facebook announced it would not launch its Calibra crypto wallet subsidiary in India due to regulatory issues. 

The Reserve Bank of India has also ordered banks not to provide services to cryptocurrency companies. Koinex, a local exchange, has already shuttered its doors as a result. 


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