The government-affiliated Indian think tank NITI Aayog published a document entitled „Blockchain — the India Strategy„, which deals with a plan for blockchain adaptation in the country. NITI Aayog addresses not only hurdles in the implementation process, but above all the potential of Bitcoin & Co. for the sustainable development of the Indian economy and society.
In the paper, which is almost 60 pages long, the think tank addresses companies as well as governmental bodies and citizens of the country. It aims to create a concrete national action plan for blockchain technology.
The NITI Aayog blockchain strategy presents a two-part plan
The first part, now published, mainly deals with various recommendations for the use of blockchain technology in India and covers
- the basic concepts,
- trust systems,
- the economic potential of intelligent contracts and blockchains,
- simple business transactions and
- various ongoing use cases.
The think tank explains that the general characteristics of DLT could represent a paradigm shift in India’s political economy. It emphasizes a rethinking of the current commitment of government agencies:
“Government should pay special attention to the decentralized network where peer-to-peer transactions can create more socio-economic value. If state entity is there just to ledger maintenance and not adding some value then we can relook the role of government.”
The document also focuses in particular on the opportunities for increased prosperity in society and cost savings for government through blockchain-based systems. For example, the policy paper states that there could be a DLT-based system for land and real estate transactions that would reduce the need for a government agency to keep records.
NITI Aayog evaluates pilot projects
The think tank is also identifying potential hurdles in the introduction of the new technology. It sees these, for example, in projects aimed at tracking pharmaceuticals or checking university documents. NITI Aayog states that both the private and the public sector need legal and regulatory frameworks to overcome the hurdles. The second part of the strategy will therefore also focus on concrete policy recommendations. The aim of these recommendations is „to develop India into a vibrant blockchain ecosystem“.
The second part of the strategy paper will focus on recommendations for establishing India as a vibrant blockchain ecosystem. This includes considerations of regulations and policies, the creation of a national infrastructure for policy solutions and a procurement process for government agencies to introduce blockchain technology. It will be published in the coming weeks.
So far, Bitcoin & Co. has not had an easy time in India. This is also due to the continued hostile attitude of the Indian Central Bank towards the trade-in crypto-currencies. Will the recommendations lead legislators to develop a milder and more open attitude towards the blockade? This remains to be seen.