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India Shows it is ‘Blockchain over Bitcoin’ as Reliance Jio goes all in on Blockchain

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August 13, 2019 | 

529 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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Indian mobile network operator, Reliance Jio, plans to roll out the country’s largest blockchain platform in a move that will be a big boost to both the country and the company. However, the general view in India is still strongly negative towards Bitocin and other cryptocurrencies. 

India’s regulators have been mulling over what to do in terms of regulating cryptocurrencies in the huge nation, with the general sentiment pretty negative. The Indian Central Bank has suggested blanket bans, and the creation of its own cryptocurrency. 

Now, with Jio looking to make a big blockchain play, it would appear that India is following a similar path to China in regards to its view on blockchain and Bitcoin. The Chinese have announced that as they forge ahead with blockchain, they are also launching their own cryptocurrency. 

India, with its suggestion of a central bank run cryptocurrency and a big move by Jio to launch the blockchain project, seem to have shown their cards.

Burgeoning technologies

Jio is a large corporation in India, but has only been at the top of the tree for a short while. However, the company is looking to make some big moves, and these will incorporate Blockchain.

Reliance Industries plans to launch its fibre optic broadband business next month. This will be followed by an IoT platform in January next year and “one of the world’s biggest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months.

At the meeting, Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani stated;

“Over the next 12 months, Reliance Jio will install one of the largest blockchain networks in the world in India, with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one”

This blockchain network is rumoured to be working with some pretty big hitters in the blockchain space, including tech giant’s Azure, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft AI platforms in an attempt to launch new cloud data centers across India. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella did not refer directly to blockchain but added;

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Core to this mission is deep partnerships, like the one we are announcing today with Reliance Jio. Our ambition is to help millions of organizations across India thrive and grow in the era of rapid technological change.”

No word on cryptocurrency

Despite these big blockchain plans, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain entirely off the radar. The negative sentiment around such decentralized financial tools remains, but there has yet to be any clarity about the direction the government will go. 

This is, in some sense, worse than if there was a full blanket ban as there would at least be some sort of clarity for those involved in crypto in India, but as it stands, the uncertainty leaves everyone directionless.

In China, it has been made clear that there is a ban on cryptocurrencies, but the focus is on blockchain, which has allowed the Chinese to lead the way in terms of blockchain innovation.
 

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