The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has shown his support for blockchain technology after publicly endorsing it as an investment opportunity. Modi’s recent comment will come as a welcome sign for the blockchain community as it brings fresh hope of mainstream adoption in one of the most populous nations on earth.
Blockchain is an opportunity in frontier technology
The Indian PM was delivering a keynote address during the India Ideas Summit in which he stated that his nation was open to international investors. The summit was hosted by the US-India Business Council and featured strong discussions about emergent novel technologies. Therefore, Modi’s statement about blockchain technology rekindled feelings that the nation is ready to adopt blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
One of the notable parts of Modi’s speech is his endorsement for blockchain technology citing it as an opportunity in frontier technologies. This was later on made public via a tweet from the office of the Prime Minister of India.
Opportunities in technology also include opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, Big data analytics, Quantum computing, Block-chain and Internet of things: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 22, 2020
Modi further made the case for India as a haven for multinational investors seeking to leverage these new technologies. The PM stated that half a billion Indians have an internet connection while another half are in the process of getting connected. Such a large number of internet users presents a great opportunity for organisations and individuals seeking to expand their operations into the country. Remarkably, Modi made clear India’s intentions to open up their economy to foreign investment. This is in contrast with neighbouring China that has maintained a strong stance against foreign companies and more especially those seeking to invest in the technology sector.
Crypto still up in the air
Despite the positive sentiments made by Modi towards blockchain technology, India’s stance on cryptocurrencies still remains unclear. The nation seems to be following a direction similar to that of its neighbor China. Both nations seem to embrace blockchain technology but on the other hand issue strong statements against cryptocurrencies. India had previously banned cryptocurrencies but this was overturned by the nation’s supreme court in March. Following the ruling, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated in May that banks are not prohibited from serving crypto-related clients. Nonetheless, banks have remained largely skeptical of cryptocurrencies which has adversely affected adoption of such digital assets. Some banks have even openly declared that they will not serve any clients with ties to cryptocurrencies. These issues notwithstanding, the recent comments by Modi provide a solace and open up belief that soon blockchain technology will go mainstream and such positive attitudes may spur the adoption of cryptocurrencies.