The conspicuous lack of Indian presence in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space has always seemed relatively incongruous. With India expecting to be home to 5.2 million programmers within the next two years, the country is on track to have more software developers than the US in the very near future.
In the last decade, India has undergone rapid digitization, with government initiatives focused on digital identity, healthcare, agriculture, and judicial systems. Furthermore, the population is one of the youngest in the world, with a median age under thirty years old, compared to mid-forties in Western Europe and 37 in the United States.
Despite all this, as the blockchain scene started to gain significant traction from 2017 onwards, the trend didn’t seem to catch on in India in the same way it did in many other Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore.
The ban on cryptocurrencies imposed by the Reserve Bank of India in 2018 is likely a significant reason why the crypto scene stalled on the subcontinent, as legal ramifications may have deterred many would-be investors or developers.
However, against this somewhat barren and hostile backdrop, a rogue group of developers convened around the idea of boosting blockchain. It was a multi-faceted ambition – to boost Ethereum’s capabilities to the point where it would be an attractive platform to end-users, but also to boost blockchain’s standing in India, and indeed, the world.
Starting from the Ground Up
In late 2017, Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun, and Mihailo Bjelic brought the Matic Network (now known as Polygon) to life. The team aimed to use the Plasma side-chain processing technology to implement a scaling solution for Ethereum. Matic was among the first projects to build a working MVP for Plasma.
For over a year, the team worked to build out the Matic Network. Their efforts included gaining visibility in the broader cryptocurrency community. By early 2019, their…