“To increase your venture capital or VC funding by 10%, tell the investors you run a platform, not a regular business. If you want to increase your VC funding by 20%, tell the investors that you are operating in the fintech space. But, if you really want the investors to empty their pockets, tell them that you are using blockchain.” – PM Narendra Modi
The prime minister’s lighthearted dig at the Singapore Fintech Festival last week was aimed at startup circles and its fondness for buzz words. However, the comment underlined the rising popularity of blockchain as one of the hottest new technologies that every one wants to be part of but few really understand.
Blockchain adoption in India is still at a nascent stage. But there is a lot of interest and work for proof of concept (PoC) in motion, both in government departments as well as private sectors. According to a recent study by UK consulting firm Dappros, India had 19,627 blockchain developers, as of October 2018, second only to US.
With the government’s continued support towards experimentation with blockchain technology across sectors, the technology is now not only being used by banks, regulators and consumers but also for social missions like health, education and microfinance, Modi said.
With that lets take a look at interesting developments in the Blockchain Ecosystem this week. [November 14 – 20]
Important Developments In The Indian Blockchain Ecosystem
Blockchain Experts From Around The World To Meetup In Thiruvananthapuram
Come December 6, Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA) is organising a three-day summit, ‘BlockHash Live 2018’, to discuss blockchain opportunities in India. Some of the speakers attending the summit include Bob Tapscott from Canada-based Blockchain Research Institute, Bitnation founder Sussane Tarkowski from Switzerland, Reliance Jio Infocomm vice-president Dilip Krishnaswamy, among others. The event will explore disruptive potentials of blockchain technology. For registration, visit: blockhash.live.
SWIFT India, MonetaGoIn Partner For A Project To Prevent Banking Frauds
A consortium of Indian banks and global payments platform SWIFT and the US fintech company MonetaGoIn have started a pilot project to launch a blockchain platform that checks and prevents fraudulent activities, and ensures transparency and security, in the real-time banking transactions.
If the collaborative project is integrated into the core banking system, it can prevent frauds such as the one allegedly perpetrated by Nirav Modi, experts say.
“SWIFT India is committed to provide significant value to the Indian financial community through digitisation of trade. MonetaGo’s expertise in providing fraud mitigation solutions to avoid double-financing and check the authenticity of e-way Bill gave us the confidence to partner with them,” Business Standard cited SWIFT India CEO Kiran Shetty as saying.
BNP Paribas India, HSBC Singapore Complete LC Transaction Using Blockchain
Retail banking company BNP Paribas India and HSBC Singapore have successfully completed a letter of credit (LC) transaction using blockchain. According to CFO Innovation, Rio Tinto was selling a bulk shipment of iron ore originating from Australia to China to Cargill. The transaction involved BNP Paribas issuing an LC over blockchain on behalf of Cargill to HSBC Singapore, which was representing Rio Tinto.
“At Cargill, we’re transforming our supply chains with digital technologies like blockchain in trade finance, commodity trade operations and traceable food programs to better serve our customers across the globe,” the report cited Cargill’s metal business managing director Lee Kirk as saying.
Blockchain Developments From Around The World
IBM, Columbia University To Launch Two Accelerator Programs For Blockchain Startups
Global tech giant IBM has partnered with Columbia University to launch two accelerator programs for startups and entrepreneurs, aimed at helping them build and blockchain innovations and scale company’s growth cycle. It is now accepting applications for both programmes.
The eight-week accelerator programmes for startups, of both later-stage and early-stage, can gain knowledge like best practices for building a blockchain network, understanding technical aspects in detail, and more of such academic practices, during the sessions by IBM and Columbia. It has announced to on-board 10 startups each for both programmes.
Microsoft BaaS Blockchain Implementation Chart: Report
Market foresight advisory firm ABI Research ranked Microsoft’s blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in the top spot for its implementation offering wide range of services. IBM secured second position, coming ahead of other vendors such as Oracle, Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, Cisco, SAP, HPE, Huawei, and Tencent.
ABI Research in a statement said:
“Each vendor was analyzed on innovation metrics such as market penetration, proof of concepts and pilots, and ecosystem support, and implementation metrics such as platform diversity, primary features, developer resources, and integration with their own solutions.”
[Stay tuned for the next edition of Blockchain This Week]