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Prime Minister Modi calls blockchain “an opportunity in frontier technology”

Benson Toti

Prime Minister Modi says India is ready for tech-based investments but a lack of clear regulations act as a major barrier for companies looking to expand into the country

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has publicly advocated for blockchain as an investment opportunity in a keynote address at India’s Ideas Summit on Wednesday. India, with a population of 1.2 billion, has been considered as untapped markets for cryptocurrency and blockchain for the past few years and the Prime Minister’s public endorsement of blockchain as a key player in the future is expected to open some doors for blockchain and crypto adoption in the country.

PM Modi in his address at India’s Ideas Summit, organised by the US – India Business Council, pitched India as a land of opportunities for American investors and stressed the need for increased partnership between the two countries to help the world bounce back from the pandemic.

He further stated that India was focused on reforms to enhance transparency, expand its digitalisation, promote innovation, and achieve greater policy stability.

Speaking about the emerging areas in technology, PM Modi endorsed blockchain, calling it a frontier technology. “Opportunities in technology also include opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, Big data analytics, Quantum computing, Blockchain and Internet of things,” the Prime Minister stated.

The Prime Minister further stated that more than half a billion people in the country already have access to an internet connection and half a billion people more are awaiting connections.

India has broken the rural-urban barrier with the internet as the number of rural internet users exceeds the number of urban internet users. He added that this presents a lucrative opportunity for companies willing to expand in a large market.

India’s legal stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain has often been described as unclear. Though the country seems to be excited about the new opportunities that blockchain technology opens up, Indian policymakers have been wary of cryptocurrency.

The Supreme Court overturned a crypto ban imposed by the country’s central bank in March this year and thus, presently, no law forbids banks from offering services to crypto-based businesses. However, the country’s deepening economic crisis and a reluctance towards digital assets have hampered the hopes for large-scale crypto adoption.

India’s cryptocurrency news and analysis outlet, CryptoKanoon, responded to the Prime Minister’s endorsement in a retweet highlighting the importance of clear regulations on the subject. “China is integrating the state-backed Blockchain network with six public blockchains in the world. It’s important that we embrace public blockchains and bring clear regulation around the whole subject,” the tweet said.

Written by Harshini Nag

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