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Blockchain adoption on the rise in India

India has witnessed an increase in blockchain and cryptocurrency jobs this year, according to a study.

The rise was specifically large in cities such as Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Chennai, and Noida. Blockchain jobs are competing with those in artificial intelligence.

Since bitcoin was introduced in 2009, when cryptocurrency and blockchain technology was first being implemented to larger audience, it has gradually been gaining momentum in the industry. Blockchain jobs are currently the fastest growing online jobs.

The fact that India does not allow cryptocurrency trade could slow down blockchain growth. The Indian government announced it would strengthen laws against bitcoin. However, even with the country’s restrictions, the number of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related job postings increased by 290% in 2017 and is growing still. During the same period, job searches with crypto-related keywords increased by 52%.

According to a report, in the next five years, distributed ledger technology has the potential to reach about US $5 billion in India across all sectors.

Last year, the government launched its own blockchain initiative called IndiaChain. The project was developed by the country’s policy commission (the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog). Through it, the government planned to enforce contracts quicker, prevent fraud, and ensure the efficient disbursement of subsidies for farmers.

It also linked the IndiaChain project with IndiaStack, which is its identification database for the Aadhar initiative. The technology has helped the government track taxes that come from all around India through a unified and secure system network, an attempt to reduce tax evasions.

The network system was intended to be used for supply chain management, land records, identity management, education certificates, benefit and power distribution, cross-border finance, and EHRs (electronic health records).

More recently, the government launched a pilot blockchain-based marketplace for coffee growers in the country. Essentially, it is an application that helps farmers connect to buyers directly, which will reduce their dependency on intermediaries.

The official press release said that initiative will help integrate farmers with markets in a transparent manner and lead to the realisation of a fair price for the coffee producer. The technology will also reduce the number of layers between coffee growers and buyers and help farmers double their income.

Stakeholders, which include coffee farmers, traders, coffee curers, exporters, roasters, importers, and retailers will need to register on the platform to make trade transactions. A coffee farmer will have to store details such as the place where coffee is grown, details of the crop, elevation, certificates, and any other relevant information. Then a block is created for each of the lots the farmer sells on the blockchain. The credentials of the block are immutable.

Blockchain is also being extensively implemented in the country’s banking sector. Several banks in the country have started to invest heavily in the technology. Blockchain solutions are expected to increase operational efficiency and transparency in banking operations because it eliminates a number of manual processes. It also improves banking experiences for customers by reducing transaction time from hours to seconds.

As technology is relatively new and still evolving in the country, clearing the misconceptions and overcoming legal restrictions around bitcoin are the primary obstacles the industry faces.

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