RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders that over the next year, Reliance Jio Infocomm will install one of the world’s largest blockchain networks across India with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one.
“What if I told you this (Crypto Ban) is just being done to scare away folks who are active in Indian Crypto Space to facilitate Jio’s entry?”, this is a text message I received from a source with connections inside NPCI, Reliance and the government in June 2019. Two more sources confirmed this to Coin Crunch India. None, wanted us to share their names, fearing retaliation.
The chief of India’s biggest company, Mukesh Ambani is also an e-resident of Estonia, known for its digital initiatives and support for Crypto Projects. Jio launched Jio Estonia OU, back in November 2018. Taavi Kotka, the first Chief Information officer of Estonia, is now the CEO of Reliance’s Estonian subsidiary. When asked about his role with Ambani, he answered,
“Mr. Ambani has a very clear vision of a digital India. To support that, he wanted to create a research and knowledge centre in Estonia to help digital India become a reality.”Taavi Kotka, CEO – Jio Estonia OU
In December, in a first for India, blockchain-enabled letter of credit had facilitated an export shipment between Reliance Industries (RIL) and one of its US-based clients.
Reliance Jio has been working/researching on Blockchain for quite sometime now, with almost no details made public. Until today.
Today, at the Reliance Annual General Meeting, Ambani announced Jio’s grand plans to create “one of World’s largest Blockchain Network in India”. Praising the distributed ledger technology, Ambani says it can bring “security, trust, automation and efficiency” which can help modernise industries like supply chain, agricultural produce and other forms.
Reliance Jio is banking on Data privacy using DLT to allow customer data to be “controlled by Indian people and not by corporates”.
“Data is wealth and Indian wealth must remain in India. Over the next 12 months, Jio will install across India, one of the largest blockchain networks in the world with tens of thousands of nodes operation on Day one.”Mukesh Ambani, Chairman – Reliance Industries
Nodes Without Token?
While the Indian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain community is thrilled with the news of Reliance’s entry, there is no information on whether there will be a token/coin on the supposed one of world’s largest blockchain network.
Jio’s blockchain, per the AGM report, seems to be steering towards leveraging Smart Contracts, to match customers and vendors, removing the middlemen and introduce real time settlements. Running a distributed network with 10000 nodes should have an incentive for those 10000 nodes to work honestly. That incentive in public blockchains come from the Token or coin like Bitcoin.
The twitter community is divided between whether Reliance’s announcement merit a Tokenised Blockchain or a Private Blockchain with a controlled settlement layer that either uses no currency or a national currency.
They don't need to create one. With private Blockchain, they'll integrate it with their in-house settlement layer using the national currency.— Saurabh Gunjal (@SaurabhPGunjal) August 12, 2019
Reliance and Microsoft Azure
Ambani also informed shareholders of a new partnership between Reliance and Microsoft that will facilitate Technology in Business across India. “Jio and Microsoft have entered into a long-term alliance to accelerate the digital transformation of India to launch new cloud data centres, ensuring more organisations can access the tools and platforms they need to build their own digital capability,” he said, adding that part of this alliance, while Jio sets up a network of large world-class datacenters across India, Microsoft will bring in its Azure cloud platform to power them.
Microsoft, in its announcement wrote, “Jio will build new custom solutions on Microsoft Azure for large enterprises who have already benefited from our technology platforms. Companies will also have easy and affordable access to best-in-class technologies like data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, IoT and edge computing to accelerate India’s digital transformation and enable grassroots innovation.”
Government of Blockchain
In the latest Report on Crypto currencies, the committee lead by former DEA secretary Subhash Chandra Garg acknowledged the merits of DLTs and its use can significantly improve the efficiency of existing financial, e-commerce, supply chain and many other industries.
With this indirect blessing from the government over experimenting with blockchain technology, extra ordinary partnerships, a country with highest number of blockchain developers, can Reliance Jio introduce a blockchain that truly revolutionises the technology for the common people like Jio did with telecom and Jio-fiber may do with Broadband? Only time will tell.
Will Jio introduce a token or a coin to work on its blockchain platform? Well, we will have to wait for more information on the same. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.