Reliance Plans To Launch Massive Blockchain Project Despite Indian Government’s Negativity Towards Crypto Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 13 August 2019 The Indian crypto industry is one of the biggest in the world, and exchanges reap significant rewards from this market. The Indian government seems to have no interest in letting the industry grow and instead, seems to be leaning towards effecting a complete ban of cryptocurrency in the country. Despite the negative position taken by the Indian government, some players in the Indian crypto industry pushing forward regardless. Reliance Industries has announced plans to partner with a number of global tech firms and launch what would be India’s most prominent blockchain project. The firm plans to create a blockchain network within the next year after they are done launching their fiber optic business in September. Reliance is running these projects through its network subsidiary, Jio, which has already disrupted and taken over the mobile network industry in India. Reliance Jio is headquartered in Mumbai. The blockchain project Reliance Industries says that the blockchain project in their plans will have tens of thousands of nodes running right from the beginning. Such a large number of nodes shows that this project is massive and will eclipse any other blockchain project currently in existence in the country. One of the top tech giants which Reliance is partnering with for this project is Microsoft. Through the partnership, Reliance will have access to Microsoft’s Azure, Microsoft AI, and Microsoft 365. These platforms will be crucial in establishing and launching new data centers in India which will propel the blockchain project forward quickly. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said that the tech giant is focused on empowering organizations and individuals across the world to achieve more. The CEO went on to say that partnerships are a big part of their mission and the new partnership with Reliance Jio will help millions of Indian organizations to grow during a time of rapid technological growth. Although there was no direct reference to blockchain, it is likely that Azure will be the blockchain partner for Reliance Jio. Azure is Microsoft’s blockchain project which was created to compete in the changing technology environment. Reliance going against the grain Reliance Industries’ announcement comes at a time when the crypto community in India is on edge because of the uncertainty caused by the government’s position on cryptocurrency. An inter-ministerial committee recently put forward a bill which proposes that there be a complete crypto ban India. The bill would make digital cryptocurrency trading and other cryptos related activity illegal in India. The proposal comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banned banks from providing their services to crypto related businesses in the country. Blockchain technology has applications that go beyond cryptocurrency but implementing the technology without cryptocurrency has its challenges. It is very difficult to have one without the other. Time will tell whether Reliance has gambled on the Indian government changing its stance on cryptocurrency or whether the blockchain project they intend to launch is designed to work without making use of cryptocurrency. Whichever the case may be, the blockchain community in India will be waiting to see how the project unfolds. A project of that size would have a lot of influence on the direction which the industry as a whole will take other cryptos and it may even be enough to convince the Indian government to reconsider their position on cryptocurrency.