India's Banking Research Division Introduces Blockchain Implementation Blueprint

  • India’s Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) has released a blockchain technology adoption roadmap.
  • The IDRBT also discussed cybersecurity and data privacy issues. 

India’s Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) has reportedly been working with the nation’s government, financial institutions, and local firms to create a blockchain-based platform for developing various applications.

On Wednesday (January 23rd), the IDRBT announced that it had published a blueprint of its proposed blockchain-enabled platform for India’s banking industry. According to the Financial Express, the blueprint specifies a general roadmap on the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT)-powered systems in various local businesses.

Additionally, the blockchain technology adoption and implementation blueprint outlines a set of core, or common, protocols to ensure interoperability among different software programs. The IDRBT noted that the DLT adoption plan includes a set of general operational guidelines as there is currently no regulatory framework in place for banks looking to use blockchain-based software

Former RBI Official Highlights Current Cybersecurity Risks

R Gandhi, the former deputy governor of India’s reserve bank, revealed that the nation’s financial system is presently vulnerable to various cybersecurity risks. These include security issues related to the use of mobile phones, and the increasing number of devices using sophisticated networks such as the internet of things (IoT).

Similar to how authorities in Europe and other parts of the world are addressing privacy issues, regulators in India are currently working to help internet users maintain data privacy and security. As explained by the Financial Express, Indian lawmakers are concerned with  “data privacy in a commercial context” and in a “democratic and human rights context.” Meanwhile, the nation’s privacy advocates have suggested imposing heavy penalties for any “unconsented” use of user data.

Shelving Plans For CBDC, "No Policy-Formation" Yet For Cryptoassets

In late December 2018, an interdisciplinary committee set up by India’s government had revealed that there is now a “general consensus” among authorities that “cryptocurrency [could not] be dismissed as completely illegal.” A senior Indian official had said that decentralized digital currencies might be legalized, but their use would likely be tightly regulated.

On January 1st, local news sources reported that the RBI had postponed its plans to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bank’s officials said the nation’s reserve bank “doesn’t want the digital currency” anymore, as it’s “too early to even think about a digital currency.” However, the RBI was still looking at how other nations were developing their CBDCs.

At present, India’s central bank doesn’t “have a formal unit for tracking of, and policy-formation on” cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, according to local news sources.