Reliance’s Blockchain Dream for India and How BlackRock and Modi Will Play a Role in It

Reliance Blockchain Voice Of Crypto
Reliance Blockchain Voice Of Crypto

On Aug 27, 2023, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended and addressed the B20 summit. He touched several topics among which emerging technologies like blockchain, crypto and AI received a good spot.

This comes when the Reliance Group, through its subsidiary Jio Financial Services, took a decision to kickstart blockchain development with Blackrock.

Modi's Support for Blockchain Technology

While addressing the summit, PM Modi said global consensus is required to regulate and make frameworks around disruptive technologies like AI (and also crypto).

Earlier, he has awarded blockchain-based degree certificates to IIT Kanpur students.

Even long back in 2018, he supported the technology calling for rapid adoption.

However, his government, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Chief Shaktikanta Das remain vocal critic of cryptocurrencies.

Sitharaman said on G20 meet that there was a need for G20 members to come together to regulate crypto.

RBI Chief Shaktikanta Das has been far ahead in criticizing cryptocurrencies and has often towed the line of other central banks across the world.

While speaking in an event held by India Today, Das compared crypto with gambling.

ANI Reported on 17 March 2023, Shaktikanta Das opined about Crypto's role in US banking crisis. Despite the fact that banks were led to a collapse due to difficulty in short term funding, record inflation, questionable balance sheets and much more.

Reliance Forays into Crypto with Jio Financial

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani

Jio Financial, a subsidiary company of Reliance Group, which is led by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, has forayed into the blockchain development space with an aim to create Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Note: India is already running a CBDC pilot project, headed by its central bank, RBI.

On Monday 28 Aug 2023, Mukesh Ambani said in Reliance's annual general meeting (AGM) that Reliance Group, was exploring blockchain based platforms and CBDCs.

"JFS(Jio Financial Services) products will not just compete with current industry benchmarks but also explore pathbreaking features such as blockchain-based platforms and CBDC."

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman Reliance Industries

Jio Financial is an arm of Reliance Industries and has recently made a stock market debut.

Reliance's Jio Financial Services Partners with BlackRock

On July 26, 2023, Jio announced that it formed a 50:50 joint venture with BlackRock, a company that has already went deep into crypto with its spot Bitcoin ETF.

Speaking on the event, Rachel Lord, Chair and Head of APAC, BlackRock said that India represented an enormous opportunity for the company. Lord also stressed the rising digital infrastructure in the country.

BlackRock already has a large presence in India with 2,400 employees and offices across the country in Mumbai, Gurgaon, and Bangalore.

Earlier in February 2023, Reliance said that its Retail Business, has started accepting crypto payments making it the largest Indian firm to accept CBDCs.

Will This Joint Venture Succeed

Reliance has been known well to bring disruptive business plans. Its Jio communications nearly wiped out the entire Indian telecom industry.

Together with BlackRock, it will surely achieve some success. BlackRock's earlier experience with crypto ETFs will help this joint venture bring crypto based financial products to the common Indian.

Further, India is already home to the largest number of crypto users in the world. But that has not been tapped due to hard regulations making it impossible for common crypto based businesses to take off.

However, structured crypto products like ETFs did have some success in the US markets where the SEC has approved Bitcoin Futures ETF.

Also, on 29 Aug 2023, Grayscale won a case against the SEC in US District of Colombia Court, where SEC did not grant permission to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. Soon, other Bitcoin ETFs might follow the same legal route.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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