The Securities and Exchange of India (SEBI) has set up a committee designed to look into the blockchain to determine its impact on the financial market.
The Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technologies (CFRT) is to be chaired by Shri T.V. Mohandas Pai of the Manipal Global Education. Its main objective is to explore the developments in fintech within the global securities markets. By determining the challenges and opportunities the committee are hoping to see what impact it can have on its own securities market. They will then examine, deliberate and advise SEBI on an ongoing basis.
SEBI said that technology is advancing at a fast rate and is ‘affecting financial markets,’ whether through peer-to-peer lending, the blockchain, digital currencies, crowd funding or algorithmic trading.
With technology driven revolution in the financial markets, regulators are faced with the challenges as well as opportunities to evolve their functioning more effectively through adoption of new technology solutions.
The announcement comes at a time when India’s financial establishments are taking a more proactive interest in the distributed ledger.
Last year, it was reported that India’s second largest bank by assets, ICICI, was showing interest in the development of blockchain applications.
According to Chanda Kochhar, the bank’s managing director and CEO, she said that the bank is prepared for a technological revolution bought on by innovations like the blockchain. Her comments followed a successful pilot of transactions that ICICI had executed over the blockchain.
ICICI isn’t the only one exploring the blockchain’s potential.
Axis Bank Ltd., and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., two other private financial institutions, revealed last October that they were experimenting with blockchain-based solutions in different sectors of businesses and industry.
More recently, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., successfully completed an end-to-end trade finance transaction with a client over a blockchain. According to a report, it is ‘the first of its kind transaction,’ which saw bank partner services giant Deloitte complete the trade finance test with partner bank JP Morgan Singapore.
Additionally, government-owned State Bank of India (SBI), the largest bank in the country, revealed in February that it was launching a financial blockchain consortium. Including privately-owned banking giants and technology companies the aim is to collaborate on blockchain solutions in finance.
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