India digital currency concept

India national web browser project integrates digital tokens

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the launch of the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge (IWBDC), a project designed to roll out a national browser for the country.

MeitY said the project seeks to develop a native web browser with an inbuilt trust store, a CCA India root certificate, and up-to-date functionalities and has urged technology experts and innovators to participate in realizing this ambition.

The initiative will place a premium on an intuitive user interface, enhanced privacy protection, and features to cater to disabled individuals, according to the ministry’s statement.

The project triggered a wave of optimism in the local Web3 industry after reports that the proposed browser seeks to integrate digital assets. Per the report, the native browser could rely on blockchain as an added layer of user protection, with the ministry targeting privacy and security concerns.

“Moreover, the browser envisions the ability to digitally sign documents using a crypto token, bolstering secure transactions and digital interactions,” said MeitY.

Integrating Web3, specifically digital currencies, in the proposed browser comes when India tightens its grip on the local industry. India has imposed stern tax rules for the industry, requiring a 30% tax burden and an additional 1% TDS on digital currency transactions.

Although the country is using its G20 Presidency to push for a global digital currency regulatory framework, things on the home front are getting grimmer for Web3 proponents. Top executives at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have swiped at digital currencies over risks of financial instability and investor losses.

“It will undermine the authority of the RBI and lead to the dollarization of the economy,” said Shaktikanta Das, head of the RBI. “These are not empty alarms or signals. A year ago, we said this whole thing is likely to collapse sooner than later, and if you see the developments, I think I don’t need to add anything more.”

Despite the government’s stance, plans to integrate digital assets in a national browser for India are rolling on with the prize money of Rs. 3.41 crore ($411,917) earmarked for the leading submissions.

Blockchain stands a better chance in India

Pundits say that the central government will be open to embracing blockchain integration in the proposed browser over digital currencies. The government has repeatedly made public its stance on blockchain, pledging to achieve a near 50% adoption rate for the technology before the decade’s end.

Several projects are already underway in India to stimulate blockchain adoption and deepen the existing talent pool for global Web3 firms. The government has also moved to integrate blockchain in several industries, including forensics and real estate but still needs to be more active in their deployment in finance.

Watch: In India, there’s a thirst to build useful stuff

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