India hasn’t been vocal about how they intend to address cryptocurrencies ever since the ministry of Finance confirmed the existence of the bill dubbed “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of official digital Currencies.” The bill, however, is not yet in play as the Lok Sabha which is the lower house of the Indian parliament, hasn’t included it in this year’s winter session and hence it’s delayed.
Just like China, India has completely shifted its focus on blockchain technology and how it can benefit the nation. Last week it was reported that the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) in India is devising an approach paper that aims to deploy blockchain technology at a national level.
MeitY has also backed the execution of research on the uses of Blockchain and developed Proof-of-Concept solutions. The nation is already piloting property registration based on blockchain in the state of Telangana, while other solutions that include Cloud Security Assurance, C-KYC and trade finance are also being developed.
Generic Blockchain-based Proof-of Existence (POE) framework is also being developed to enable PoE for digital artefacts, according to Minister of State for electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre. Dhotre further said:
“By using PoE framework, a solution is developed to authenticate academic certificates. Blockchain technology has also been used and PoC is developed for vehicle life cycle management and hotel registry management PoC.”
Recent developments have revealed that Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populated state of India, is testing a blockchain-powered solar energy trading platform with tech assistance from Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger and India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), a public-private partnership initiative of India’s Ministry of Power for accelerated development of smart grid technologies.
The project will be piloted by Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), which are government-owned entities. The project will display how blockchain can be utilized to trade solar energy using rooftop solar systems.
ISGF Executive Director Reena Suri said:
“Power Ledger’s platform integrates with smart meter systems to enable households to set prices, track energy trading in real-time and enable the settlement of surplus solar transactions in real-time through smart contracts executed on blockchain.”
Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by March 2020. The results will be used to determine proper regulations to promote Peer-to-Peer trading of solar energy.
These events demonstrate how India is taking a step towards embracing blockchain technology. While the future of cryptocurrencies in India is highly speculative, Blockchain technology might very well find its place in the subcontinent.