What Is the India Blockchain Alliance? What Does it Do?

The India Blockchain Alliance (IBA) calls itself a not-for-profit organisation, working on bringing together blockchain developers, firms, venture capitalists, and visionaries together in India. Founded in the year 2018, the body aims to further the research and development work around blockchain, also called the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which makes for the base foundation for the Web3 sector. India, despite its sceptical approach towards welcoming digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs into its financial ecosystem, has time and again showed its interest in exploring the underlaying technology of these assets, that is blockchain.

In conversation with Gadgets360, IBA Founder and Chairman, Raj Kapoor claimed that the organisation, in its initial phase, offered education and awareness programmes around the blockchain technology. In the last six years, Kapoor said, the organisation has managed to amass nearly 800 members which include blockchain-focussed investors, companies, and projects alongside 300 colleges and universities.

What Role is the IBA Playing in India’s Blockchain Ecosystem

Earlier this month, the IBA met with its community members to discuss ways to make blockchain a stronger part of the #TechForGood movement, that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organisation, during the meeting said it is working with international research partners to chalk out how blockchain can be put to use to bring more transparency and data security layer in the sectors of e-governance, supply chain, carbon registries, and healthcare.

“India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been at the forefront of these efforts, promoting the use of blockchain in government services and exploring its applications in areas like land records, supply chain management, and digital identities,” Kapoor told Gadgets360. “We too, are putting in the maximum efforts to establish a regulatory framework for oversight on blockchain’s use cases.”

The IBA operates an initiative called the ‘Web3 Village’ where stakeholders of the national and international blockchain ecosystems converge to share blockchain resources.

Without disclosing elaborate details, Kapoor said that the IBA has submitted white papers and policy recommendation to the authorities on topics like anti-money laundering, banking, decentralised finance, environment, NFTs, sanctions, securities, spot markets, stablecoins, and taxation.

“We are working endlessly to incorporate blockchain technology into educational curricula at universities and technical institutions to develop a skilled workforce. Offer training programs and certifications for professionals are also tailored to enhance their knowledge and skills in blockchain technology,” Kapoor noted. “We are working to implement blockchain in various government services to showcase its potential and build public trust. Examples include using blockchain for land registry, identity management, supply chain transparency, and public records.”

Notable Projects Under IBA’s Oversight in Chairperson’s Opinion

The IBA, in recent years, has initiated two ‘ambition projects’ — the Green Chain Protocol and the Carbon Chain Initiative. Through these, the body plans to establish India as an early developer and adopter of clean and green blockchain.

The Green Chain initiative focuses on using green blockchains in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sectors. The Carbon Chain initiative, on the other hand, is aimed at identifying blockchain projects that align with UN’s vision to slow down environmental damage.

“Green Chain seeks to showcase and flourish Web3 projects in the ESG field. Our Carbon Chain initiative leverages the use of blockchain technology to track and verify carbon emissions. It is designed to create a decentralised, tamper-proof, and transparent ledger that accurately records the carbon footprint of different entities, including individuals, corporations, and governments,” Kapoor said.

The IBA claims to be taking India’s vision for blockchain internationally and are also expanding presence in India’s Bengaluru, Punjab, J&K, and Maharashtra.

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