Tell us about your company. Its vision and mission?
India Blockchain Alliance was founded on the premise that blockchains have the potential to transform many aspects of India’s financial, social and governance systems in ways that make them more decentralized, open, and equitable. Such transformations, however, will affect all country men and it’s important to ensure that all classes of stakeholders (private, public regulatory, academic and more) are connected in open conversations about how use this science to benefit Indians and build India as a leader in blockchain technology.
IBA aspires to see an India that leads the world in the adoption of blockchain technology that has transformed the economy and society to achieve significantly greater competitiveness, efficiency, service quality, social engagement and employment. IBA aims to encourage the responsible adoption of blockchain technology by industry and governments across India as a means to drive innovation in service delivery across all sectors of the economy.
What were the constraints you faced while starting with the company?
The lack of knowledge about blockchain, the confusion with bitcoin, lack of validation and an absence of well-defined use cases were a challenge to start with. All these coupled with a lack of blockchain talent were issues we faced when we set about putting our think tank together. The principal challenge associated with blockchain was a lack of awareness of the technology, especially in sectors other than banking, and a widespread lack of understanding of how it works.
The blockchain creates most value for organizations only when they work together on areas of shared pain or shared opportunity – especially problems particular to each industry sector. The problem with many current approaches, though, is that most organizations at that point were stove-piped. Some organizations were developing their own blockchains and applications to run on top of them. In any one industry sector, many different chains are therefore being developed by many different organizations to many different standards. This defeats the purpose of distributed ledgers, fails to harness network effects and can be less efficient than current approaches
A blockchain also represents a total shift away from the traditional ways of doing things – even for industries that have already seen significant transformation from digital technologies. It places trust and authority in a practicing network rather than in a powerful central institution and for most, this loss of control was unsettling.
Further, regulations have always struggled to keep up with advances in technology. Indeed, some technologies like the Bitcoin blockchain bypass regulation completely to tackle inefficiencies in conventional intermediated payment networks. One of the other challenges of the blockchain approach, which was also one of its original motivations, is that it reduces oversight.
Finally, while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin offer pseudonymity, many potential applications of the blockchain require smart transactions and contracts to be indisputably linked to known identities, therefore raise important questions about privacy and the security of the data stored and accessible on the shared ledger.
What services do you provide?
- Education & Training:
- Consulting & Advisory Services:
- Funding for Blockchain Startups:
How do you manage practicing into different areas?
We have specialists for all sectors. Blockchain adoption is no longer is confined to the financial sector. Sectors like healthcare, Agriculture, supply chain and logistics, retail, utilities, renewable energy, entertainment, manufacturing and many more are embracing blockchain and a deep understanding of these sectors is vital to implementation success. We bring sector expertise to each of these sectors.
Is the blockchain totally different from traditional banking ledger?
A centralized system offers a client server architecture where all nodes are dependent on a single central node for storing and retrieving data. On the other hand, in case of a decentralized system like blockchain, all the entities are independent and produce their own decision, thus eliminating the risk of a single point of failure. While a blockchain is inherently distributed (meaning that many parties hold copies of the ledger), it is not inherently decentralized. … Bitcoin’s network uses mining and proof-of- work to maintain the integrity of the ledger. In a centralized network, only known and identified parties can transact on the ledger.
What Type of records do you keep in a Blockchain?
Any digital records – financial, academic, digital data. Virtually anything. It also depends on the blockchain. Each blockchain has a specific purpose. Some blockchains are designed for financial transactions, some are for a contract, and some are for IoTs. You can also create your own blockchain. For example, Bitcoin blockchain stores 1 transaction. Some blockchains are designed for smart contracts such as Ethereum. Means you can store a block of code on the blockchain.
How do you manage the system in a place to model, manage and balance risks and opportunity cost?
A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks.
Blockchain does not store any of its information in a central location. Instead, the blockchain is copied and spread across a network of computers. Whenever a new block is added to the blockchain, every computer on the network updates its blockchain to reflect the change.
Also, anyone who is a member of the Bitcoin community or who runs Bitcoin software essentially shares ownership of the Bitcoin network. When someone downloads the Bitcoin blockchain, which houses all Bitcoin transaction records that have taken place since its inception, they help prevent future network centralization.
How has your management considered the technology and security concerns for cryptocurrencies?
While still not fully understood by most people across the world, it is important to know that many banks, governments, and worldwide organizations are aware of cryptocurrencies, and they are studying and evaluating their use and emergence as a viable currency on an ongoing basis. While the Bitcoin we know today was built on the proof-of-work principle that transactions can be securely processed on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, without the need for a central collection institution, the mining and transaction processes are not entirely secure. In fact, conspiring participants can impose upon of the flaws found within the process.
There are some key security concerns that can lead to potentially harmful attacks and threats with the use of cryptocurrencies:
- Selfish Mining—
- Double Spending—
- Wallet Software/Distributed Denials of Service Attacks (DDoS)—
- Acquiring Greater Than 50% Computing Power—
- Time jacking—
While the networks of cryptocurrency are still in development, threats to the mining process are present, and it’s important for individuals and organizations to not only be aware of this phenomenon but to also be prepared in the event of an attack, and to understand how this new form of currency could be manipulated for illicit gain.
To provide security against the attack on mining process, the framework of Bitcoin protocols needs to be changed and since the Bitcoin is indeed a decentralized cryptocurrency, the protocols are accepted by the all the users and to change the protocol set of Bitcoin, the agreement of majority of the users (approximately 80%) is needed. Thus, the implementations of advanced the Bitcoin protocol security seems somewhat complex.
One of our primary functions is to work with organizations address these and find viable solutions with integration of support technologies and careful coding.
What are the legal and regulatory guidelines and how do you monitor emerging regulatory considerations?
Any distributed ledger used by an enterprise or industry needs to conform to data requirements in the countries in which it operates. Existing blockchains based on Bitcoin and Ethereum codebases can indiscriminately broadcast private data to all participants of a network, and therefore may not always be suitable for use in financial services. Distributed ledgers have been developed that share certain data only with participants who need to see it, most notably R3’s Corda. These distributed ledger technology implementations are more flexible and can more easily meet existing and potential future data requirements. Legal requirements are evolving rapidly and it is important to ensure that the implications of new technologies are reviewed by appropriate counsel.
When thinking about the application of data protection laws to distributed ledger technologies, the first point to understand is that there is no such thing as global data protection law. Although overarching principles such as Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the OECD Privacy Principles developed in the 1980s provide a common source for many data protection regimes, there is significant variation around the world.
Mapping such varied and sometimes even conflicting regimes onto global distributed ledger implementations poses obvious difficulties, particularly where logical relationships between nodes bear no necessary connection to the physical jurisdictions in which they are located. However, this is not a new issue for global networks — the question of which law or laws apply to distributed digital activity has been a central concern for the application of laws online for the last 20 years, if not longer.
Notwithstanding its tremendous capabilities, in order for the technology to unfold its full potential there needs to be careful consideration as to how the technology can comply with new European privacy legislation, namely the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) which came into force on 25 May 2018. This article explores some of the possible or “perceived” challenges blockchain technology faces when it comes to compliance with the GDPR.
The GDPR applies to the processing of “personal data” by controllers established in the European Union (EU), as well as companies outside the EU where their processing activities relate to offering goods or services to data subjects in the EU or to the monitoring of their behavior.
The GDPR defines personal data as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.” The GDPR will apply to any personal data that is stored or transmitted using a blockchain network. Blockchain technology can be used to hide the actual identity of individuals using the network by assigning them a unique identifier such as an encrypted key, but if someone holds the code to decrypt that key, then the encrypted key may still constitute personal data under the GDPR.
What are your upcoming projects?
Amongst several exciting projects, here are a few that will add value to enterprise going forward: Governments around the world are moving swiftly towards digital technologies for enhanced service delivery and improved public office performance. eGovGuru is an integrated platform established to deliver systems via web, mobile or on premises.
Civil Registry Systems
- Smart ID
- Driver’s License Management
- Vehicle Registry
- Health Care Services
- Education management
- Visa & Passport Applications
- Trusted Crowdfunding Platform Using a Smart Contract
- Blockchain-Based Voting System
- Blockchain Based Supply Chain
- COVID Passport
- Blockchain enabled digital health records system
- Identity Management Platform
- Blockchain based certificate credentialing
- Copyright Royalty Platform
- Year of Founding : 2018
- Founding Members : Raj Kapoor, Harmeet Singh, Aman Bandvi
- Office Location : AMumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhopal
- Company Strength : 22
- Website : www.indiablockchainalliance.org
*This interview was covered by: SwiftNLift Business Magazine