India's securities markets watchdog has announced that it will explore blockchain for potential applications to its regulatory oversight processes.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) unveiled a broad fintech initiative today, establishing an advisory committee that will research blockchain and other technologies in the areas of asset management, fundraising and post-trade settlement, among others. Shri T.V. Mohandas Pai, the chairman of education service provider Manipal Global and a former board member of Indian IT giant Infosys, will chair the committee.
Perhaps most notably, the Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technologies (CFRT) will examine whether blockchain could be put to use by SEBI itself, though it's not entirely clear at this point which specific applications will be considered.
SEBI said in its release:
"[The committee will assess] technological solutions for regulatory functions of SEBI viz. information management and data mining, risk management including cyber security, intermediary supervision, consumer protection, etc. through application of new technological solutions like application of distributed ledger technology, big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine Learning etc."
The committee, according to the statement, will also play a role in creating a more accommodative working environment for companies working on new products and services.
Echoing other securities regulators, the CRFT will draw up plans for a "regulatory sandbox" that is aimed at promoting innovative new technologies in the finance space.
The developments also come as India's government moves toward regulating cryptocurrency activities. Recent reports suggest that at least some officials are pushing for a more restrictive stance, though to date, state officials have yet to reveal any concrete proposals or plans.
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