Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Releases Bullish Report on Blockchain for Clearing, Settlement

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An employee counts currency notes at a cash counter inside a bank in Kolkata June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

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According to a recent whitepaper Applications Of Blockchain To Banking And Financial Sector In India released by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – the advantages of Blockchain implementation in banking and finance includes cost savings, efficiency and transparency – and there are plans for implementation of Blockchain in the financial industry in India. 

R. Ghandi Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India Chairman, IDRBT writes: 

During recent years, banking industry across the globe is closely observing the developments in one such disruptive innovation viz., the Blockchain technology (BCT). BCT provides tamper-evident recording of the linked transaction history in a distributed network, and has the potential to disrupt the financial business applications. Sound theoretical underpinnings of BCT such as fault-tolerant distributed computing and consensus have been studied for the past two decades.

The nature of BCT addresses risks and inefficiencies in multi-party systems, and that is where its benefits will be most widely received. Applications of BCT for encoding economic signals have been in vogue for the past decade and the claims that it may be useful for digitizing currency are being studied.

Smart-contracts are an advanced application of BCT that can encode complex business workflows for enforcing their conformance, and enhances efficiency through event triggered mechanisms.

Several BCT platforms provide the necessary features to encode smart-contracts in a simple and efficient manner. IDRBT has taken the initiative of exploring the applicability of BCT to the Indian Banking and Financial Industry by conducting a workshop involving all the stakeholders such as the academicians, bankers, regulators and technology partners.

In the process, the participants of the workshop came together to bring out this White Paper detailing the technology, concerns, global experiences and possible areas of adoption in the financial sector in India. The Institute has also attempted a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) on the applicability of BCT to a trade finance application with active participation of NPCI, banks and solution provider, the details of which are presented in the White Paper. I congratulate IDRBT for the timely initiative and trust that the White Paper provides the necessary impetus towards accelerating the adoption of this innovative technology. All members of the Working Group deserve compliments for their inputs and efforts.

The working group included experts from the central bank, IBA, NPCI, CCIL, ISI, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Citi Bank, Deutsche Bank, Infosys, TCS, IBM Research, Deloitte and MonetaGo.

 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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