When most people think of India, their minds turn to the Taj Mahal, the bustling streets of Delhi, or its colourful spices and celebrations.
It’s not so often that you hear about the southwestern state of Kerala or its pioneering use of blockchain in India.
Blockchain in India grows despite anti-crypto stance
Just last month, the Reserve Bank of India maintained its hardline stance on not allowing privately owned cryptocurrencies in India. However, that doesn’t mean that blockchain in India is equally at arm’s length.
In fact, its implementation is growing at a rapid pace. According to the country’s Economic Times, Kerala looks set to become the first state to successfully implement blockchain in India.
Apparently, the state wants to utilise this new technology to strengthen its human resources and financial sectors. State officials aim to do this through a series of “pilot government schemes”. These will introduce qualified talent in the blockchain space.
The electronics and IT secretary for the state of Kerala, M Sivasankar, explained:
“We are looking for intelligent use of blockchain in specific domains in the next five years so that its applications can be sustained. Companies that produce solutions based on the technology can sell it as products or services.”
Sivasankar foresees Kerala as a talent hub for blockchain experts in India.
Kerala has been fostering blockchain talent since 2017
Despite the ban on buying or selling cryptocurrencies in India that came at the height of the ICO mania, the state of Kerala has been fostering blockchain talent since 2017 through the Kerala Blockchain Academy.
The idea of this government initiative is to train as many as 20,000 people in blockchain development. Sivasankar told the Economic Times, “Around 2,000 of them have gone for the next level in the blockchain developer programme and 800 have graduated.”
Kerala may not be as well known as some of India’s other regions, but it’s serious about being a pioneer for blockchain in the country. Its population of 35 million can greatly benefit from blockchain technology to streamline its growing financial sector.
This includes traditional banks, microfinancing businesses, and the significant remittance industry that was estimated to represent some 35% of the state’s income in 2017.
Other blockchain initiatives in India
Blockchain’s properties of transparency, traceability, and immutability make the technology extremely attractive in a highly populated country like India that suffers from corruption at all levels.
Several companies are already experimenting with blockchain in India to bring transparency to elections. There are also many ways in which the supply chain can be improved, and solar energy can bring electricity to the 200 million people who still live without it.
If Kerala’s pilot projects work out well, it could set a precedent for the rest of the country – and other developing countries – to follow.