Reliance Industries, India’s biggest and most valuable conglomerate, is diving into blockchain development that will also see the company create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin, through its telecom subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm.
According to a regional report by LiveMint, Indian telecom giant Jio Infocomm is establishing an initiative dubbed the ‘JioCoin project’ that will see a 50-member team of professionals working on blockchain technology to develop applications for supply chain management logistics as well as building smart contracts. The team will reportedly be led by Akash Ambani, the eldest son of Mukesh Ambani who is the managing director of Reliance Industries. One of the world’s richest men, Mukesh Ambani is worth an estimated $40.1 billion with a 44.7% stake in the conglomerate.
The blockchain development team - to consist of professionals with an average age of 25 years - will also work toward developing its own cryptocurrency called Jiocoin.
Speaking to the publication, an anonymous insider familiar with the developments outlined potential use cases for the technology, stating:
"One (application) is cryptocurrency. We can deploy smart contracts. It can be used in supply chain management logistics. Loyalty points could altogether be based on JioCoin."
Although details remain scarce, it’s easy to spot reasons for Reliance Jio’s foray into developing its cryptocurrency. The company has a massive network of entertainment offerings including Jio Phones, JioTV, JioNet WiFi, Jio Cinema, Jio Music and notably, Jio Money. With Jio Money, Reliance Jio has developed its own payment gateway and wallet that predictably brings a wide range of discounts on purchases in food, travel, apparels and more. With its own cryptocurrency, Reliance Jio could conceivably issue loyalty points in cryptocurrency that can be used for purchases throughout the Jio ecosystem.
While India’s highly competitive mobile telephony market already sees some of the lowest tariffs in the world, the recently-launched Reliance Jio - with a 4G network covering the entire country - has heavily disrupted the sector with significantly discounted data usage rates and freebies to become the country’s fourth-largest telecom operator. A little over a year since it’s launch in December 2016, Reliance JIO now has over 160 million subscribers in the world’s second largest mobile subscriber market (an estimated 1.1 billion users), after China.
Featured image from Shutterstock.