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Digital India Gets a Triple Push in the Union Budget 2018-19 The government a major upside in the growth of blockchain technology going forward

By Vinay Kalantri

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In the Union-Budget for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had exuded confidence in the high resilience of Indian economy. According to him, the nation's economy is firmly on course to achieve the high growth trajectory of over 8%, as all the key sectors - manufacturing; services and exports - are back on track, clocking sustained growth rates in the past two quarters. While GDP growth at 6.3% in the second quarter of 2017-18 signalled a turnaround of the economy, growth in the second half is likely to remain in the range of 7.2% to 7.5%, making the country one of the best performing economies in the world shrugging off the rising oil price blues.

Technology and MSME Sector to Be a Key Beneficiary

Central to his argument is the Government's pet theme of digital first economy and its strong resolve to build an infallible and impeccable architecture for its seamless expansion and growth. This is the reason behind the Government's decision to explore the usage of blockchain technology, a shared digital ledger which has been fast finding favour with financial intermediaries. Once perfected and customised to fit the country's otherwise patchy business-ecosystem, blockchain will help ease credit flows to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) since it tracks and record each and every transaction of individuals and enterprises on a shared network. This augers well for the MSME sector as well as individuals who have a poor history of documentation and credit history in accessing capital. This will also help peer-to-peer lending groups in enhancing their customer base as well as business.

Fintech will Be the New Normal

It is my argument, also shared by many of my peers, that blockchains will be the next big thing to happen in the country's financial firmament. It is the new FinTech sweet spot in the making and is widely considered as the new normal for banking and financial institutions alike.

In a nutshell, blockchains are a real-time ledger of records stored in a distributed, peer-to-peer fashion independent from any central authority. Already, most of the major financial institutions have adopted this technology. They also see enough upside in the growth of blockchain technology going forward.

Blockchain to Play a Transformative Role

It is not only beneficial for business with valuable digital assets from contacts to contracts, it provides enough and adequate security to confidential data which has been a core concern among financial firms. Blockchains provide future-proof security to its users and their information since they are highly secured because of its encrypted nature and allows access and editing facility of the blocks only to those who own them. Further, it is also highly transformative to any company that processes payments. Other positives of this FinTech innovation include that it eliminates all the conventional payment processing intermediaries that are commonly known and prone to hacking.

In lieu of a conclusion, I would like to stress the fact the blockchain is the next generation technology that a young, new and a start-up India is looking for.

Vinay Kalantri

Founder and Managing Director, tmw

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