Almost a decade back, we were hit with a technology that could be "trusted" to connect billions of people. A once-in-a-century concept that potentially can revolutionize banking, supply chain, internet and almost every sector.
Over the last decade, we have seen crazy ups and downs in this space. Some of the Fortune 500 companies have begun the adoption of this technology while some of the startups are using this tech to decentralize their sector.
Just like any great technology, Bitcoin and Blockchain has its dark side as well. It has been used to scam people of millions of dollars, it is being used to buy drugs and other prohibited substances off the dark web and more.
The government of India's stand on this has been confusing. On one hand the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has prohibited the use of Bitcoin and other currencies and on the other hand, NITI Aayog is working on the adoption of Blockchain for various sectors.
The question now is - What is the Future of Cryptocurrency & Blockchain in India?
We reached out to the industry experts to get their take on the Future of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in India and here is what they said.
Ajeet Khurana, CEO of Zebpay
I foresee a huge disintermediation coming up in India -- and it will be powered by Blockchain. But before that we will have to bear lots of resistance to change. The sooner we accept the new paradigm, the better placed India will be among the nations of the world.
Aparna Saraogi, Executive Chairperson of WEEFoundation, IIT Delhi
We are at the verge of fourth industrial revolution where innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing would fundamentally change the way we work, we live and interact. The power of billion people connected through computing devices and distributed ledger techniques like blockchain has the potential to leapfrog India’s growth to the developed nation. Blockchain has the potential to ensure financial empowerment for all and complete elimination of corruption which almost guarantees prosperity for all. Blockchain use by NSE and India’s leading banks like SBI is a positive step in this direction. India is leading the way of using blockchain for know your customers and background verifications. Blockchain and AI are the future. India is at forefront of it!!
With the government stepping in to regulate and track upcoming technologies like blockchain, I believe this might actually turn away entrepreneurs exploring this space because of the regulatory hurdles or grey operating space. In fact, this creates incentive to register companies abroad to bypass Indian regulatory hurdles.
Taha Nabee, Marquee Angel Investor
Blockchain is the future of secure transacting, and transparent record keeping in India! The number of applications for such tech is game-changing and India is at the cusp of mass adoption of the blockchain. The next decade is going to be tremendous for blockchain and blockchain enabled products and businesses.
Blockchain offers decentralized trust and immutability to transactions - two of the most important foundation pillars required to build Digital India that is an inclusive, fair, equitable and great leveller for the underprivileged.
Vivek Sancheti, Co-Founder, CryptoGround
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency are the technology which will completely reshape the financial World. It will be one of the important pillars of finance in coming future.
Blockchain in India is fresh and everyone seems to be excited to talk about it - the community, businesses, the government. But then, we need a more sensible approach to adapting the technology. Solve a real problem. Blockchain isn't the answer to everything, so choose the technology only if it's the best tool to solve a given problem, instead of finding a problem and sticking blockchain on it. But yes, blockchain has a lot of potential in India. Looking at the waves, who knows, there might come a time where people would stop asking if it's on cloud and start asking whether it's on blockchain. As for cryptocurrencies, there's a lot of uncertainty in the market about the upcoming regulations. Anyone watching the prices in the past two months could see how stale the market has been. Clearly, the retail trading community will expect the Government to back them up. We at Crypto-News India are optimistic that the Government will regulate cryptocurrencies, if not in September, in the near future.
The Indian Government seems to be supporting Blockchain but is anti-cryptocurrencies. This cannot be done. Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain go hand in hand. Sooner the govt realises, better it would be for India or else we will miss this bus also. I strongly believe, India can be the Blockchain Valley of the world.
Pradeep Kumar, CEO, DeviceBar
I remember the “Silicon Valley (TV Series)” episodes where they talk about the Decentralized Internet, and it was an exciting concept. But, will it be the same for Decentralized Currency as well? Indian Government is not, famously, known for their exceptionally challenging decisions. There will be a lot of startups implementing Blockchain technology for the next few years but the Government may not make it legal or a standard acceptable form of payment anytime soon. They should be technically strong overall to face the problems they might encounter through this. But, we will never know what’s going to happen, demonetization was a big surprise. And I hear the news that they will make 'flying drones' legal in India soon, that's an excellent positive signal overall. It hates the most to see India lacking behind such powerful technology, but it’s just a matter of time for us to explore and reach the right spot. Nobody thought people would prefer to watch movies online, that too legally by paying money, but I’m sure most of us are doing that right now. The best part about this whole thing is, it can only be blocked or banned country-wise, we can’t ban it overall, Cryptocurrency will always be there for everyone.
Jason Fernandes, Co-Founder, AEToken
Regardless of what happens vis-a-vis the legality of cryptocurrency, India is likely destined to be at the forefront of Blockchain development. Developers here have been quick to adopt new technologies and blockchain has proved no different. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the acute demand for competent blockchain programmers worldwide. As for cryptocurrencies, I do hope the government comes around. ICO, in particular, is a unique funding opportunity available to blockchain companies and artificial legal barriers to fundraising are bad for the overall ecosystem. Such laws will only encourage Blockchain companies to incorporate in crypto-friendly jurisdictions like Malta, Singapore or Estonia. If the legal questions are not resolved soon and positively, India may find itself left behind.
Neeraj Joshi, Startup Enabler and Community Leader, PushStart
Blockchain will help in deeper penetration of the “Community concept and culture” in India.
Pranav Khanna, Founder, Ideas That Scale Accelerator
The emerging disciplines of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency offer a chance for India to leapfrog existing financial and authentication dogma.
Sachin Tagra, Marquee Angel Investor & Head Network18 Capital
Blockchain is the tool created by the free market economics striving to be efficient. It has the potential to disrupt many current business models and it’s adoption is inevitable.
During the time of writing this email, the market has been at a 14 month low with Bitcoin sliding closer to $3500, yet the industry leaders seem bullish on the technology and optimistic about the future.