RBI building blockchain platform to fit bank needs

On June 28, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), an arm of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), announced that they were developing a new blockchain based platform which would cater to the needs of banks.

“We have been working on a model platform for blockchain applications for the government in banking. It will be documented and developed next year,” AS Ramasastri, the director of IDRBT explained.

This new platform will host a large group of blockchain applications and is expected to be ready for implementation next year.

The RBI is involved in the development of this new technology has some taken by surprise. The organization has been opposed or at least quite skeptical of cryptocurrencies in the past. Despite the fact that blockchain technology has often been associated with cryptocurrency and exchanges, RBI has moved directly into the platform feet first.

RBI has earned a reputation for their negative stance on digital currencies. Earlier this month, Facebook announced that they would not be registering their soon to be released digital currency with the Bank of India. Libra will not appear on the registry, thanks to the bank’s ban that RBI has placed on cryptocurrency related business.

The Reserve Bank of India is not the only financial institution looking to provide this kind of platform, it has recently been reporting that banks in South Korea are also exploring the use of blockchain technology to create a platform similar to that which is being proposed by the RBI.

Clearly, there is a lot of discussion about the use of this technology in the financial world, but real-world applications have not been attempted to this degree. Some find taking baby steps to be the proper course of action. “While there is huge scope for deployment of blockchain applications, a cautious approach is very much needed,” Ramasastri explained.

Ramasastri recognizes that digital transactions are likely to increase, creating a greater need for this platform.“We believe 5G will have more role to play with many applications in banking. We are also in the process of setting up a 5G Cases Lab for banks,” he added. The soft launch of the lab has already been done. It will develop and demonstrate 5G use cases for banking and financial services.

IDRBT has wanted to showcase how quickly this technology has developed. A banking technology museum set up by the financial institution has been drawing interest from a number of banks, financial institutions, and those involved in technology, where they are showcasing the evolution of payment systems and storage.

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