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India’s Largest Bank Goes Big on Blockchain

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM

The State Bank of India is gearing up to implement blockchain solutions in a number of financial processes including the management of its Know Your Customer (KYC) system.

As a public sector bank, government-owned State Bank of India (SBI) is India’s largest banking corporation with assets over $460 billion and services in a number of areas including retail and corporate banking as well as financing and insurance. Earlier in February, SBI took the lead to establish ‘Bankchain’, India’s first financial blockchain consortium comprising of India’s biggest banks (both public and private) alongside technology companies including IBM and Microsoft to develop and implement blockchain applications in the financial services industry.

SBI is now pressing ahead with its first implementation of the decentralized technology by using an enterprise blockchain solution for managing its Know Your Customer (KYC) system, via a new partnership with Intel that sees the technology giant become the consortium’s official technology advisor.

The enterprise blockchain will run on Hyperledger Sawtooth, a modular platform for developing and deploying blockchains, developed by Intel – a member of the open-source Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger project. The blockchain will also be supplemented by Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) to boost the blockchain’s privacy, security and scalability. The blockchain solution will be delivered by Primechain, an Indian blockchain startup powering the Bankchain consortium.

As reported by the Economic Times , the new blockchain solution will boost the efficiency of financial institutions without comprising on data confidentiality and transaction security.

According to SBI’s head of innovation Sudin Baraokar, the public sector bank is keen to develop blockchain use cases through collaborations with other banks to hasten the process of deploying beta platforms.

The SBI official stated:

By leveraging blockchain components such as Intel SGX and Hyperledger Sawtooth and Primechain’s expertise to build blockchains, we can realize emerging fintech services such as P2P lending, crowdfunding and digital marketplaces that enables financial inclusion.

The consortium’s first completed project, revealed in June, saw a working group of major Indian banks develop a blockchain to share customer data. Dubbed ‘Clear Chain’, participating banks will be able to share KYC, ALM and CFT now Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) details.

Featured image from Shutterstock.