RBI Calls on Indian Banks to Explore Blockchain

A member of India's central bank has encouraged further collaboration between banks and startups to advance blockchain tech.

Jul 22, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:23 p.m. UTC

One of the Reserve Bank of India's deputy governors has encouraged local banks to work with a research outfit previously established by the central bank on blockchain projects.

In a speech during an event at the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) on 19th July, Deputy Governor Rama Gandhi said banks should work to develop applications for digital currencies and distributed ledgers.

The speech focused on banking technology more broadly, but according to Gandhi, the IDRBT is an effective means to test possible applications.

He told event attendees:

"Cloud-based computing, blockchain processing technologies and virtualization of IT systems are a few examples which hold potential for being used in a big way ... Banks and IDRBT can work together to study these, test them out and adapt for best use."

Gandhi has spoken on the topic in the past, arguing last summer that digital currencies can fuel money laundering efforts during a banking event in India. Deputy governor Subhash Sheoratan Mundra said at the same event that financial institutions should collaborate on use cases.

The Reserve Bank of India has been investigating applications of the technology, including the possible issuance of its own digital currency, since as early as 2014, according to reports at the time.

Central bank governor Raghuram Rajan said later that year that the institution could release its own digital currency, but that such an issuance could take years to undertake if attempted.

Image Credit: Joe Ravi / Shutterstock.com

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