India stands at the cusp of a new beginning where the path chosen, now, can make her a global tech powerhouse yet again. We have witnessed the phenomenal growth of IT services in the last two decades. The Y2K issue led to the building of numerous IT services in the country and is an archetype of how economic liberalization combined with an entrepreneurial spirit can build an industry that today contributes 8% to our GDP. The current domestic revenue of the IT industry is estimated at US$ 45 billion and export revenue is estimated at US$ 150 billion in FY21.
Observing the growth and impact of the Indian IT industry in the past gives a set of valuable lessons that can be replicated for the development of blockchain technology and virtual currencies. The key reasons for the growth were:-
- Light touch regulations coupled with supportive incentive policies
- Focus on skill and talent development in the early stages, which was instrumental in rapidly addressing the changing technology needs of the global customers.
- Creating a huge ecosystem of industry collaboration in the form of an industry body NASSCOM. The association has helped develop best practices that get disseminated to companies across the sector.
- Focus on strong processes and continuous improvement
- Widespread industry efforts to promote, cultivate and celebrate entrepreneurship created an ecosystem for entrepreneurs to conceptualize, fund, and scale IT companies.
The first wave of the global Internet and dot-com era created the Internet infrastructure and services that made us a global tech economy. Blockchain could be the next wave of digital advancement that could impact the Indian economy by becoming home to a plethora of innovations and can create a cutting-edge industry based in India.
The following are the reasons why India can become a front-runner in the next decade of blockchain innovations:-
- According to a market analysis carried out by Dappros, a London-based consulting firm, the country is home to the second most number of blockchain developers in the world with nearly 19,627 developers.
- The Indian developer ecosystem is getting stronger day by day with the likes of 13 year old Gajesh Naik chief architect of PolyGaj, building a DeFi protocol on the Polygon blockchain which manages around $1 million in cryptocurrency. Samyak Jain and Sowmay Jain in their 20’s; built Instadapp which raised $2.4 million in a funding round. Smart youngsters like them are the strongholds of our emerging start-up ecosystem. The young developers with their vast potential can help India achieve their digital vision.
- India is home to over 5,694 active investors, over 38000 startups, and 54 unicorns. Six months into 2021, the Indian startup ecosystem already has 15 new unicorns, it has the 3rd largest unicorn community in the world. India has got a vast talent pool with entrepreneurial capability which can create more new startups and unicorns.
- Earlier this year, all digital coins combined had a market capitalization of around $1.7 trillion, a huge potential for India to tap into.
- According to Chainanalysis, Indian investments in crypto have increased from $200 million to $40 billion over the past year. Cryptocurrency stock exchanges have raised huge investments which shows gaining interest from investors. Indian companies received 0.2% of the $5.5 billion invested globally as of May in the blockchain start-ups.
- There has been a growing interest in cryptocurrency by millennials. By the end of last year, Indian Bitcoin trades accounted for about $60 million every day. Young investors have invested at least Rs 15,000 crore in cryptocurrencies. The country of India has a population of about 1.4 billion people and a significant part of this population is predominantly young and tech-savvy. This indicates that India could potentially become one of the largest crypto economies in the world if it desires and works towards such a narrative.
Currency technologies are currently brand new and developing, so creating the right conditions will promote innovation in the industry and catalyze the creation of new financial instruments and services based on it. This will help in creating new jobs and spur the development of experts. It is an opportunity to bring competition, efficiency, and new growth to several industries.
We are currently one of the most prominent nations with regards to the sheer number of startups springing up and India needs to formally recognize cryptos, otherwise, our nation is at risk of losing out on the next decade of innovations.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.