The richest man in Asia and chairman of Indian multinational Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, declared the installation of one of the largest blockchain networks in the world in India.
At Reliance’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), Ambani announced his plans to roll out the blockchain over the next year, among other announcements.
Reliance is a technological innovator in India, having introduced the Jio Network, making cheap telecommunications and internet available to a major section of India’s 1.3 billion population. According to Ambani, Jio itself employs over 6,000 software engineers and is attracting technological talent from across the nation and the rest of the world.
He thus wants to use and build that talent by investing in advanced technology that will keep India on par with, or ahead of, the rest of the world. Interestingly, Jio wants to use blockchain in its transaction processes, and improve the security, trust and efficiencies on the network. Another reason for harnessing the technology is to modernise Indian supply chains.
A major focus of this update rested on data privacy. Reliance wishes for Indians to have greater control over their data through blockchain technology, rather than for their data to be in the hands of corporates, especially international ones. He stated:
“Data is wealth and Indian wealth must remain in India.”
In terms of harnessing modern technology, Jio also plans on deploying cloud technology across India, which they want to be “cutting-edge and affordable”.
Indian Crypto Ban
While this may be good news for the cryptocurrency community in India, it is only one beacon among a slew of negative news. The government of India has officially recommended a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India due to its highly unregulated nature and a range of cryptocurrency-related financial and civil disputes.
Perhaps Reliance, which has major lobbying power and influence on the economy, will be an unlikely campaigner for the cryptocurrency movement.