With an aim to develop applications such as smart contracts and supply chain management logistics, Jio Infocomm, a leading telecom major that disrupted the country’s telecom sector last year with its highly discounted data usage rates and free offers, is mulling over a plan to develop its own cryptocurrency JioCoin, LiveMint reported. The project will be headed by Mukesh Ambani’s eldest son Akash Ambani who will be leading a 50-member team of young professionals with an average age of 25 years to work on blockchain technology, said the report. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.
Reliance Jio’s plans
Although the company hasn’t shared any information on its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, the team will be working on different blockchain projects, LiveMint reported citing unidentified sources. Reliance Jio may also get into Internet of Things (IoT) and the blockchain technology will be helpful in this regard, the report said citing same sources.
Government doesn’t back virtual currencies
Even as the cryptocurrency mania is gripping the entire world –especially Bitcoin –, the government is looking into the possible misuse of such virtual currencies. A committee appointed by the government last year to examine issues related to cryptocurrency has submitted its report, a senior law ministry official said on Thursday. Additional Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs Anadee Nath Mishra said the government is also looking into the allegations that people who had black money had diverted the same to cryptocurrencies in India during demonetisation.
Earlier, the government, the RBI and the SEBI have cautioned people on investing in cryptocurrencies on several occasions. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha that Bitcoin was not a legal tender in India. The government on December 29 had cautioned investors to be wary of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, saying they are like Ponzi schemes with no legal tender and protection. The Government or Reserve Bank of India has not authorised any VCs as a medium of exchange. The users, holders and traders of VCs have already been cautioned three times, in December 2013, February 2017 and December, 2017, by Reserve Bank of India about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to by investing in Bitcoin and/ or other VCs. RBI has also clarified that it has not given any licence/ authorization to any entity/ company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency.