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MeitY proposes national blockchain strategy for adoption across sectors

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Friday released a “National strategy on blockchain”, which identifies 44 potential areas of using the technology and lays out the broad contours of how it can be leveraged across different sectors.

MeitY has suggested setting up a National Blockchain Framework (NBF) with three types of participants- confident user of technology (application developers), provider or operator of technology (infrastructure and services, Blockchain as a service), and complete technology stack builder (IP creator).

Suggesting a multi-institutional model for architecting the NBF, MeitY has said organisations must be identified along with their roles and responsibilities.

The sectors, where blockchain models have applications, have been identified as education, governance, finance & banking, healthcare, logistics, cyber security, media, legal, power sector, etc.

“Involvement of innovative startups and industry would bring in the agility. Institutional mechanism within MeitY and a collaborative framework with other ministries/ departments and states may be evolved,” the 52-page document notes.

Quoting Gartner and other research, the paper lays out the potential of the use of blockchain, which is expected to reach business value of $176 billion by 2025 and $1.3 trillion by 2030.

MeitY said it will work with various Government organizations and other stakeholders in implementing this strategy and realizing the various advantages of the Blockchain technology in terms of enhanced security, trust and its ability to ensure tamper-evident transactions.

“A dedicated team would be identified to hand-hold the implementers at various central / state government applications. Existing services offered by MeitY and other government organisations would also be onboarded onto the trusted digital platform,” the strategy document says.

Broadly, MeitY has proposed that a roadmap for adoption of blockchain should include the assessment of value proposition of blockchain technology, run pilot deployments and prototypes, evaluate these for specific platforms and in the future, adopt them for other applications and areas.

The ministry identified five areas of weakness in the technology- scalability, security, interoperability, data localisation and disposal of records.

Key challenges to such widespread adoption are- adoption of the technology, regulatory compliance, identification of suitable use cases, finding the right data format, and awareness and skill set.

“The National Strategy to evolve a trusted digital platform for providing e-Governance services using Blockchain lays out overall vision and the development and implementation strategies for a National Blockchain Platform covering the technology stack, legal and regulatory framework, standards development, collaboration, human resource development and potential use cases. It is hoped that this strategy document would provide the necessary guidance and support for realizing the vision and creating a nationwide ecosystem for creating the National Blockchain Platform and development of relevant applications using this platform in various domains,” MeitY said.

The document also lists a wide variety of experts whose feedback and consultation helped shape the document. These people work across government, private sector, civil society, law firms, startups and others. Business Standard

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