Ripple's India Head Calls for Indian Govt. to Embrace Blockchain Over Remittances

Ripple’s India Head Calls for Indian Govt. to Embrace Blockchain Over Remittances

Ripple’s India division head Navin Gupta has called for the Indian government to embrace blockchain technology and digital assets in light of the massive and ever-growing remittance market in the nation. It’s one more indirect finger on the scales as the Indian Supreme Court prepares to make a decisive decision on domestic crypto-banking this coming September 11th.

Also read: Peter Rizun Says ‘Let’s Wait’ on Bitcoin ABC’s November BCH Fork

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Gupta: Blockchain Could Help Save Millions

Blockchain is often touted as the revolutionary technology that can supplant existing traditional payment system used by banks. However, India — the world’s largest remittance-receiving country with international remittances nearing $70 billion USD annually — has been slow to consider the tech.

Navin Gupta, Managing Director of Ripple India, has asserted in new comments that dynamic should be reversed. In a LiveMint op-ed, Gupta highlighted how Indians collectively lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually in expensive processing fees in the nation’s traditional cross-border payments system. On average, he noted, banks in the country charge almost six percent per remittance transaction.

Accordingly, Gupta said embedding blockchain technology and digital assets into the existing banking payments system there can ax a large portion of Indian users’ annual transaction fees while simultaneously reducing transaction times. As it stands, cross-border payments in India can take up to five days to clear. 

Gupta also pointed out that Non-Resident Indians (NRI’s) who send money back to the country could leverage Ripple’s xRapid protocol and use its native token XRP as “on-demand liquidity” for remittances. 

“If the government is serious about building India’s economy and bringing prosperity to all its citizens, it needs to fix the remittance problem. It can do so by adopting blockchain technology and digital assets for faster, low-cost, efficient remittances,” Gupta wrote.

India’s Blockchain Canvas Getting More Colorful

India’s cryptoeconomy and its traders have been snubbed by the Reserve Bank of India amid the RBI’s currently appealed ban on banks facilitating cryptocurrency business accounts. But the blockchain picture in the nation is still looking increasingly promising.

IBC 2018

Recently, at the International Blockchain Congress in Hyderabad, Bitsonline recorded NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant as saying, “If you are avoiding blockchain you are avoiding future”.

The conference also saw a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Telangana State government and India’s IT giant Tech Mahindra. The deal will be focused on actualizing a “blockchain district” to foster local blockchain startups. Not long ago, another Indian state Uttar Pradesh announced its plan to deploy land and revenue records on distributed ledger technology. The western state of Maharashtra is also piloting a blockchain tech project for motor vehicle registrations and supply chain financing.

Distributed ledger technology may soon start making more waves in the Indian banking sector. Indian private sector lender IndusInd Bank has also partnered with Ripple to settle cross-border payments instantly and cost-effectively. More like-minded partnerships may be coming as a result.

Will India become a blockchain powerhouse in the coming years, or will the government there impede progress? Share your views in the comments section.

Images via Akshay Makadiya, Pixabay

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