Indian Telecom Jio Reveals Blockchain Network for 330 Million Customers

Speaking at the company’s 42nd AGM (1.01) on Aug. 12, chairman and managing director Shri Mukesh D. Ambani said blockchain technology formed one of three main areas of expansion for Jio. 

Indian telecoms provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (known as Jio) has pledged to build what it describes as one of the world’s largest blockchain networks.

His comments came as India faces a backlash over its plan to ban cryptocurrency while championing blockchain technology at state level.

Chairman: Nodes to be active from day one

Since debuting in 2015, the company has become one of India’s major mobile networks, with a current user base of over 330 million people.

“Over the next 12 months, Jio will install across India one of the largest blockchain networks in the world, with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one”, Ambani promised.

As Cointelegraph reported, outside commentators have joined the anger coming from the local crypto industry amid warnings from the central bank it could criminalize interaction with unsanctioned tokens such as Bitcoin in future.

Customer data owned and controlled by the Indian people

Staying away from the topic, meanwhile, Ambani focused on blockchain’s role in empowering Indian consumers.

“Using blockchain, we also have an opportunity to invent a brand new model for data privacy, where Indian data, especially customer data, is owned and controlled by the Indian people and not by corporates – especially global corporations”, he said.

The exact nature of Jio’s blockchain installation remains unclear, with Ambani not going into specifics about how users could potentially engage with or monitor their data.

Beyond India, estimates have put the potential value of the global blockchain telecoms industry as reaching $1 billion by 2023.

Indian IT Giant Tech Mahindra to Launch Blockchain Finance Management

Tech Mahindra, the IT subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, partnered with American distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm Adjoint to launch a blockchain financial management and insurance solution.

Telecommunications industry news outlet CommsMEA reported on Sept. 2 that the solution is the first of its kind. With this service, clients will reportedly be able to save $4 million for every $1 billion of financial risk management and banking relationships.

Auditable data recording

Per the report, users of the new system will be able to validate the business case with their own data in their own secure environment and help eliminate out-of-order and double data entries.

In order to ease reporting and compliance, auditors can purportedly be given access to an immutable record of all transactions.

The system is based on UpLink, an open source DLT platform aimed at enabling compliant modern financial processes management. The platform has a dedicated messaging protocol and consensus mechanism meant to let participants in the blockchain ecosystem establish what data is put on the distributed ledger.

Previous blockchain initiatives

Earlier this summer, Tech Mahindra announced a blockchain-based anti-spam phone call initiative. The solution allows phone companies to comply with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s regulations to protect mobile phone subscribers from unsolicited calls.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, Samsung SDS has reportedly agreed to cooperate with Tech Mahindra in an attempt to enter the overseas blockchain market.

Indian Car Manufacturer Tata Motors Calls for Automotive Blockchain Tech

Indian automobile manufacturer Tata Motors wants to integrate blockchain solutions into its internal processes as part of a newly launched program for startups.

As Business Insider India reported on Sept. 18, Tata Motors has rolled out a program for startups dubbed “Tata Motors AutoMobility Collaboration Network 2.0”, through which it intends to develop a range of industry-related products, including artificial intelligence and blockchain-enabled solutions.

The firm wants to apply blockchain-based solutions in various aspects of the automotive industry, including parking marketplace, demand prediction algorithm and real-time monitoring of fuel quality.

Commenting on the initiative, Shailesh Chandra, president of electric mobility business and corporate strategy at Tata Motors, said:

“Today, almost every segment of the automotive value-chain is required to drive its own innovation story. … In the current age of uncertainty and speed of change, the above effort of sourcing solutions will need to be driven both through in-house initiatives as well as collaborating with external partners.”

Blockchain recognition by car industry leaders

Blockchain has seen wide adoption in the automotive industry, with some of the world’s leading car manufacturers having already embraced it. In late August, blockchain solutions company PlatOn created a platform for storing data and calculating the price of used business cars at Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service.

That same month, Volvo Cars, owned by Chinese automotive group Geely, produced electric cars with cobalt mapped on a blockchain, purportedly aiming to prove that their electric vehicles do not rely on conflict minerals or child labor.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the blockchain devices market will purportedly see a 42.5% compound annual growth rate in coming years, to reach a valuation of $1.285 billion in 2024. In comparison, the value of the market in 2019 has reportedly amounted to $218 million to date.

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