India Blockchain Platform

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    • In recent years, India has made a significant effort to become a digital society.

    India’s Digital Infrastructure

    • About:
      • India is in an evolving process of building a large citizen-scale digital public infrastructure
        • Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) refers to solutions and systems that enable the effective provision of essential society-wide functions and services in the public and private sectors.
    • Indian Initiatives: 
      • The Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been promoting simplification and transparency to increase the speed of interaction between individuals, markets, and the government. 
      • With the commencement of the Digital India mission in 2015, our payments, provident fund, passports, driving licences, crossing tolls, and checking land records all have been transformed with modular applications built on Aadhaar, UPI, and the India Stack.

    Limitations

    • Looking at the current digital ecosystem, it’s identified that existing different digital infrastructures are not interconnected as a design
      • A technical integration is required to make them conversant and interoperable.
    • Today, information has to travel across multiple systems to complete the interaction.
      • Relying on private databases for this interaction makes the validation of data more complex as the network grows, driving up costs and creating inefficiencies.

    Web 3.0 as a way ahead

    • It is becoming increasingly essential for developing nations to iteratively build innovative solutions on top of existing digital infrastructure.
    • Web 3.0 combines older-generation web tools with cutting-edge technologies such as AI and blockchain, as well as user interconnection and increased Internet usage.
    • The Web 3.0 architecture establishes a new version of the Internet protocol incorporating token-based economics, transparency, and decentralisation

    Blockchain Technology

    • A blockchain is a database that stores encrypted blocks of data then chains them together to form a chronological single-source of truth for the data.
    • Digital assets are distributed instead of copied or transferred, creating an immutable record of an asset
    • The asset is decentralized, allowing full real-time access and transparency to the public
    • A transparent ledger of changes preserves integrity of the document, which creates trust in the asset.
    • Blockchain’s inherent security measures and public ledger make it a prime technology for almost every single sector.

    Blockchain-based digital governance

    • About:
      • A blockchain-based digital government can better protect data, streamline processes, and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse while simultaneously increasing trust and accountability
      • On a blockchain-based government model, individuals, businesses, and governments share resources over a distributed ledger secured using cryptography. 
      • This structure eliminates a single point of failure and inherently protects sensitive citizen and government data.
    • Advantages:
      • A blockchain-based government has the potential to solve legacy pain points and enable the following advantages:
        • Secure storage of government, citizen, and business data
        • Reduction of labor-intensive processes 
        • Reduction of excessive costs associated with managing accountability
        • Reduced potential for corruption and abuse
        • Increased trust in government and online civil systems
      • Central banking:
        • Real-time gross settlement is the continuous process of settling interbank payments in central bank records as opposed to settlement at the end of each day. 
        • Blockchain enables a significant increase in transaction volume and network resilience which enables central banks to process RTGS at a faster pace, with heightened security. 

    Global adoption of blockchain infrastructure

    • According to a private study, by 2023, 35 per cent of enterprise blockchain applications will be integrated with decentralised applications and services. 
      • Many countries have already begun establishing their blockchain policies and infrastructure.
    • Estonia:
      • The world’s blockchain capital, is using blockchain infrastructure to verify and process all e-governance services offered to the general public. 
    • China: 
      • China launched a program in 2020 called BSN (Blockchain-based Service Network) to deploy blockchain applications in the cloud at a streamlined rate. 
    • Britain
      • The Centre for Digital Built Britain, a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Business Strategy, is running the National Digital Twin program (NDTp) to foster collaboration between owners and developers of digital twins in the built environment. 
    • Brazil:
      • Brazilian government recently launched the Brazilian Blockchain Network to bring participating institutions in governance and the technological system that facilitates blockchain adoption in solutions for the public good.

    Challenges of integrating blockchain technology with Digital public Infrastructure

    • Lack of awareness:
      • The principal challenge associated with blockchain is a lack of awareness of the technology, especially in sectors other than banking, and a widespread lack of understanding of how it works. 
      • This is hampering investment and the exploration of ideas.
    • Technological support:
      • At present, end-user devices such as smartphones do not support blockchain-based technology and, as a result, the last mile is always outside the network. 
      • However, the day is not far when smartphone manufacturers will deliver blockchain-compliant devices by adding extensions.
    • Decentralised governance:
      • A blockchain represents a total shift away from the traditional ways of doing things – even for industries that have already seen significant transformation from digital technologies. 
      • It places trust and authority in a decentralised network rather than in a powerful central institution. 
      • And for most, this loss of control can be deeply unsettling. 

    Way ahead

    • The need of the hour is to work on an indigenous solution of the people, for the people, and by the people — an India Blockchain Platform — even if it takes years to design and implement. 
    • A digital infrastructure based on blockchain technology will transform the digital ecosystem in India and will enable the future of digital services, platforms, applications, content, and solutions. 
    • Considering the current state of affairs worldwide, one can safely assume that we are at the beginning of the curve, but the days are not far.

    Source: TH