Kerala may take the lead in leveraging blockchain

KOCHI: Kerala may race ahead of other states in using blockchain technology successfully, leveraging its strengths in the financial sector and human resources.

The state plans to use blockchain technology to make its financial system more efficient and implement pilot government schemes by creating a talent pool of professionals in the field.

“We are looking for intelligent use of blockchain in specific domains in the next five years so that its applications can be sustained. Companies that produce solutions based on the technology can sell it as products or services,” M Sivasankar, state electronics and IT secretary, told ET. He foresees the state as a talent hub for blockchain experts through the government initiative of Kerala Blockchain Academy, which was started in 2017. The idea is to train 20,000 people in blockchain development over the next two years. “Around 2,000 of them have gone for the next level in the blockchain developer programme and 800 have graduated,” he said.

Blockchain technology can be quite relevant for Kerala’s robust financial sector that include several banks headquartered in the state, chit fund companies, microfinance ecosystem lending through Kudumbashree and self-help groups, and large remittances flowing into the state economy, according to Sivasankar.

“Since there is a huge financial market, we can provide the blockchain provider access to the market so that they can develop new concepts and models,” he said. “The state’s strength in blockchain will be an incentive to attract the right companies that will trigger the ecosystem.” The state government is also trying to implement pilot schemes like using blockchain in land records, managing workforce, organic food traceability and immunisation programmes.

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