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Indian public sector to be real beneficiary of Blockchain technology: IBM

Touted as a key technological innovation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin

Nishant Arora | IANS  |  New Delhi 

Photo: iSTOCK
Photo: iSTOCK

As enterprises the world over become aware of the benefits associated with moving their operations to the Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, the would be the real beneficiary of this disruptive technology in the days to come, a top executive has forecast.

Touted as a key technological innovation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is disrupting traditional processes across industries — from financial transactions to marine insurance and more.

For a layman, a blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can efficiently record transactions between two parties".

For use as a "distributed ledger", a blockchain is typically operated by a peer-to-peer network which allows users to manage the ledger in a secure way and without the help of a third party.

"Today, if you and me are doing a transaction and buying something online, we realise that multiple intermediaries are involved like banks, regulators, manufacturing agencies and marketing agents, etc," Jitan S Chandanani, Blockchain Leader, Global Business Services, India (South Asia), told IANS.

As the businesses have grown, the idea today is to seamlessly bring buyers and customers together without the hassle of going through multiple online gateways.

"Blockchain is actually one solution that is delivering on the fact that it will help remove the intermediaries and connect them through a ledger or a network which basically replicates and translates information in real time," Chandanani explained.

"For example, If I'm buying a shirt from an online website, does the bank need to know the shirt size? Likewise, if I have an shirt to sell and you want to buy an shirt, do both of us really need to go through an agent or a broker? No, but only a network which will be connecting us," the executive explained.

Blockchain enables trust and connects by securing the exchange of information and replicating it to both the parties and, at the same time, keeping it private and secure.

According to the global research firm MarketsandMarkets, the Blockchain market is estimated to grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2.31 billion by 2021.

"The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is expected to dominate the market with the largest share of the need for banking and financial transactions have evolved from a traditional payments systems to be seamlessly integrated into new systems," it added.

Huge opportunities lie across verticals in the Asia-Pacific region, especially India, Australia and China, the report added.

According to Chandanani, the adoption, as well as awareness, has increased among Indian firms and, eventually, the acceptance of blockchain will be redefined in the country.

"The most beneficial sector definitely will be the government/public sector. We have multiple areas for implementation — from additional IT that can be used across government services or having all electronic medical records at one central place and controlling everything from there," he noted.

Since eliminates cyber frauds to a large extent, the financial services sector has been an early adopter.

"BaaS comes with a high-security business network. The key high-security attributes are cryptographic for the hardware, tamper-proof cards for the management and malware protection for the database," Chandanani said.

Blockchain will definitely help know what some of the global security standards actually are.

"The response in India is fabulous. The CIOs like it. They know it's secure, the information can be kept safe and it goes in the right parts. CTOs like it because it's probably more efficient at this point in time and less stressful than investing in new systems. It's a check mark on all the aspects and that's how we are confident of the acceptance coming on," Chandanani said.

is luckily in a sweet spot because of actually having one overall view of the complete Blockchain stack.

Blockchain provides fundamental support to transform a number of business practices, from banking and government to healthcare and logistics.

The Blockchain Platform is an integrated platform designed to accelerate the creation of a "built for business" global blockchain network across industries.

"We have been pushing extensively for blockchain and for hyper ledger with all the networks we build and the answer is, 'we will prefer to use Cloud'. It's not that we won't use others, but the first choice will be IBM," Chandanani explained.

is also looking to talk to bodies India to help firms embrace BaaS.

"I think is pretty much talking to every regulator who is writing into us and most of the skill bodies that are available as well as relevant councils, be it insurance or others. Not just in India... this is a global activity that is currently involved with," the executive added.


(Nishant Arora can be contacted at nishant.a@ians.in)

First Published: Sat, September 09 2017. 12:45 IST
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