Blockchain technology will be one of the main topics that will be discussed during the Fintech Storm India Summit 2016, a two-day event occurring later this week in Mumbai. The summit will host a dedicated half-day workshop with confirmed participation of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The blockchain symposium will explore how India can leverage distributed ledger technology to solve problems such as financial inclusion, micro payments, voting, subsidy distribution, asset monitoring etc.
In a media release, Arifa Khan, founder of Fintech Storm, shared her excitement about “the appetite for blockchain in India, from banks, NPCI and RBI,” the country’ central bank.
According to her, blockchain has the potential to become a real game changer that could very much “reinvent banking and transform every known process of financial services transactions” whether it is in retail, corporate or investment banking, globally.
But its potential lies well beyond the financial services industry as the technology can also help modernize the democratic process and provide an alternative, more efficient governance model, Khan noted.
Anything that involves large databases can be made more efficient using blockchain technology, she said. This can be anything from recording extra ordinary general meetings of corporates, democratic referendums, e-voting, passport and immigration, health records, tax compliance, e-learning and certification.
“I foresee the spawning of entirely new industries outside of banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), such as outsourced and decentralized market research and reviews facilitated by a consumer app, experience-discovery platforms, low cost accessibility of e-education, e-healthcare and other essential goods to improve the quality of life for Indians,” Khan said.
“We can hope for technology to elegantly solve the myriad problems of opacity in economy and non-compliance that the regulators and law making bodies grapple with.”
A new paradigm in finance and banking
Alongside Khan, Marc Pilkington, a professor at University of Burgundy in France, will co-host the blockchain workshop. The two of them are also involved in the Global Blockchain Think Tank, an initiative that will be officially announced during the summit.
According to Pilkington:
“Blockchain is taking the world by storm with the emergence of a new paradigm in banking and finance, and even in the way economic agents will interact in the future by designing new structures, new architectures and new protocols for conducting a wide range of human activities.”
RBI, India’s central bank, is looking at blockchain technology with much interest to understand the technology’s possible implications on India’s banking and financial services industry.
The authority is in the process of constituting an internal committee of banks, fintech ventures, and other participants in the ecosystem, to determine appropriate regulatory policies.
Khan pointed out the “openness” of the regulator and welcomed its willingness to keep up with the trend with international counterparts.
RBI has taken many steps towards empowering fintech firms to develop market-relevant solutions, notably by issuing guidelines to enhance financial inclusion and facilitate microfinance.
The Fintech Storm India Summit 2016, a two-day event organized by Fintech Storm, will begin on May 12th and is expected to bring together hundreds of delegates and over 50 globally renown speakers to discuss the future of money.
Alongside blockchain technology, other topics that will be tackled during the summit include payments and its evolving landscape, online lending and peer-to-peer funding marketplaces, as well as financial inclusion and microfinance.