India\u2019s largest telco to launch blockchain platform

India’s largest telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm is set to launch “one of the world’s largest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months. The network will have tens of thousands of nodes operational upon launch, Reliance Jio’s owner Mukesh Ambani revealed in the recently-held annual general meeting. Ambani, who is Asia’s richest man pledged to use blockchain technology to improve on efficiency, automation and data privacy.

Reliance Jio has been on an aggressive expansion drive since it launched three years ago. Despite only being around for a few years, the telecom operator is now the largest in the country, with over 340 million subscribers. Now, the company has set its sight on becoming a dominant player in the world of blockchain technology.

Over the next 12 months, Jio [Reliance Jio Infocomm] will install across India one of the largest blockchain networks in the world with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one.

Ambani, who is the 13th richest man in the world, revealed that the blockchain network will be used to power industries in the South Asian country.

He stated, “Using blockchain, we can deliver unprecedented security, trust, automation and efficiency to almost any type of transaction. This is a vital capability for India, especially for modernising our supply chains for agricultural produce and other goods which form the lifeblood of our economy.”

Ambani further revealed that the network will give Indians the power over their own data. Data ownership has become a heated topic in recent times, with companies like Facebook and Google finding themselves in trouble over their usage of user data. Ambani hopes to help Indians steer clear of such data breaches using blockchain.

He added, “And 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 through technology by the Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations.”

Reliance Jio’s parent company Reliance Industries has previously been involved in a blockchain project. In November last year, the company partnered with HSBC bank to execute a letter of credit transaction between Reliance and U.S-based Tricon Energy. Speaking at the time, Reliance CFO Srikanth Venkatachari stated, “The use of blockchain offers significant potential to reduce the timelines involved in exchange of export documentation from the extant seven-ten days to less than a day.”

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