Experts bullish on blockchain in India

At the Blockchain Conclave organized by the government of Karnataka in Bengaluru, experts from across the globe gathered to share their views on how blockchain technology is impacting the exchange of data across various sectors. 

Popularized by Bitcoin, blockchain has been touted as a game-changing technology for businesses and governments. Verticals across both public and private sectors have been increasingly looking into various blockchain protocols for faster and more secure form of data transactions. 

Shift to decentralized data mechanisms
Moving away from a centralized form of conducting transactions, blockchain uses a decentralized consensus mechanism, requiring consensus from nodes run by each stakeholder in the process. Experts say this technology will have a huge impact on all the industries that are based on transactional data.

“Many of the existing business models on which the tech industry operates will be disrupted by the blockchain because of the flawless movement of transactions happening across various systems. If you apply this technology for the right use case, it will increase efficiency and add a value for businesses.”

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Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President, SAP HANA Enterprise

“Many of the existing business models on which the tech industry operates will be disrupted by the blockchain because of the flawless movement of transactions happening across various systems. If you apply this technology for the right use case, it will increase efficiency and add a value for businesses," stated Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President, SAP HANA Enterprise.

According to experts, businesses heavily dependent on transactional data will benefit the most from this nascent technology. Through a distributed consensus mechanism, the technology makes digital records immutable and also removes all unnecessary intermediaries in the process, thus enhancing the integrity of data which is shared.

"Blockchain is going to do to transactions what Internet did to data. It will impact all industries that use transactions and change how we exchange all kinds of data as well as assets. Blockchain can be used as a foundation to improve all global transactional processes, said Saqr Ereiqat, Program Manager, IBM Dubai. 

“Blockchain is going to do to transactions what Internet did to data. It will impact all industries that use transactions and change how we exchange all kinds of data as well as assets.”

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                         Saqr Ereiqat, Program Manager, IBM Dubai

Using smart contracts at nation-wide scale
Smart contracts based on the blockchain help in the smooth exchange of information in a decentralized manner to achieve automated consensus in the data supply chain. The application of blockchain-based smart contracts will not just expedite global processes but also empower citizens and organizations in protecting and sharing their private data with other entities. The governments throughout the world are working to implement smart contracts at a nation-wide scale for making public records secure and reliable, say experts.

"In addition to private chains running across the nation, the Dutch government is using block chain and smart contracts for various use cases such as providing subsides, birth certificates, in securing healthcare records, land records and giving the citizens the right to their own data through decentralized digital IDs based on blockchain," told Marloes Pomp, Program Officer Blockchain for the Dutch government at the Blockchain Conclave.

“While blockchain technology can reduce the possibility of getting hacked as well helping in interlinking various data records, it is not a panacea. There are laws that first need to be framed regarding its use. One idea that we are looking into is a national infrastructure for blockchain."

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                    Aalekh Sharan, Officer on Special Duty for NITI Aayog

GoI exploring the right use case for blockchain
The Indian government is still exploring how this technology can be applied at the center to secure the storage and exchange of critical information. States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have already set out to define their blockchain policies. The center continues to do its research and analyze various use cases to create a national framework policy on blockchain technology. Following the rollout of a defined policy framework on blockchain, the government aims to make inter-departmental and bureaucratic processes smooth and secure on its preferred protocol.

"We are trying to understand where we can apply this technology. We are running a series of proof of concepts with public stakeholders for different use cases such as electronic health and land records. While blockchain technology can reduce the possibility of getting hacked as well helping in interlinking various data records, it is not a panacea. There are laws that first need to be framed regarding its use. One idea is we are looking into is a national infrastructure for blockchain," spoke Aalekh Sharan, Officer on Special Duty for NITI Aayog.