The Indian ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has released a 52-page “National Strategy on Blockchain” document that urges closer cooperation between government and the private sector to build blockchain infrastructure across the world’s second-most populous nation.

Fast facts

  • It is to be noted that the current NSB document is an updated version from the one released earlier this year. According to the document, India wants to develop a national blockchain platform to further the use of blockchain across sectors. To that effect, MeitY wants to build a “National Blockchain Framework” (NBF), because a “geographically distributed national level shared infrastructure,” whose nodes are spread across India, is required for the country to benefit from blockchain at scale, the document noted.
  • The national blockchain infrastructure will be used to provide blockchain-as-a-service, the document said. It added that the development of the NBF will require collaboration between academic institutions, the government, startups and the industry. Initially, the NBF will only be used in the e-governance domain while transitions to broader use-cases will be done over time.
  • The document notes that it “lays out overall vision and the development and implementation strategies for a National Blockchain Platform covering the technology stack, legal and regulatory framework, standards development, collaboration, human resource development and potential use cases.” MeitY will work with other ministries and other stakeholders to ensure the strategy is implemented, it added.
  • Although the document offers a broad view of the Indian government’s blockchain ambitions, it does not set specific goals or timelines for implementation. However, it is meant as a guide to the government and the industry stakeholders, and it also buoys the Indian blockchain community at a time when crypto has come under a regulatory cloud.
  • India’s planned crypto bill, which is listed in the agenda for discussion in the current parliamentary session, has fueled much speculation about what it may entail since the draft is yet to be publicly released. But the objectives of the bill state that it aims to ban all private cryptocurrencies. The latest reports suggest that the government is going to regulate crypto as assets instead of banning them altogether, instilling a ray of hope among the crypto community.