Indian states are ready to embrace the technology behind Bitcoin — Blockchain — with Maharashtra being the next in line, as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis endorsed it, saying it will reduce trust deficit. “Public delivery of goods and services will become more transparent through Blockchain and will reduce trust deficit among service providers and receivers. Blockchain will also create Internet of trust, internet of value and not just internet of things (IOT),” he said at a FICCI event.
Two other states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — are in fact a step ahead, and are testing the blockchain technology for land deals. Not just states, even largest lender the State Bank of India is also exploring the blockchain technology. This comes at an interesting time as Blockchain rose to popularity because of Bitcoin, for which it is a technological support. While the Indian government has issued several warnings on Bitcoin, even likening it to Ponzi schemes, it sees a great potential in adapting its technology.
Blockchain is a technology in which transactions made in digital currencies are recorded chronologically and publicly. Blockchain can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as tracking ownership or the provenance of documents, digital assets, physical assets or even voting rights.
Now the idea behind exploring blockchain for land-deals stem from the fact that they are rife with corruption. “The current system is rife with corruption,” J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary & IT advisor to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, told CNBC in an email recently.
“Fraud is rampant and disputes over titles often end up in court. Matters related to land and property make up about two-thirds of all civil cases in the country,” he added. By incorporating the blockchain technology, the governments are hoping to make land deals transparent and easy.
But there are apprehensions over using this technology fully in India. “There cannot be a complete switch to a blockchain platform, as millions are still not literate and lack access to smartphones and computers,” Ananth Padmanabhan, a fellow at thinktank Carnegie India told Reuters.
“There needs to exist a dual system, that is, an option to use the online services but also the old process of paper documents submission at the government office,” he said.