Blockchain Technology in Real-Time Governance: An Indian Scenario

Published date01 September 2022
Date01 September 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Blockchain Technology
in Real-Time
Governance: An
Indian Scenario
Surabhi Pandey1 and Chandra Sen1
Blockchain, the latest distributed ledger technology, has brought paradigmatic
shift to the mode of transaction and communication recently. None of the are-
nas/sectors/organisations is untouched of the technology globally. Recently, the
appliance of the distributed ledger technology into digital currency astonished
the global community. The applications, apprehension, risks and prospective of
technology, thus, have been analysed periodically. In this article, the authors try
to understand the potential scope, complexity and legal dynamics of blockchain in
the Indian scenario, intermittently. The basic sources such as reports and docu-
ments of NITI Aayog, Working Paper of Ministry of Information and Technology
as well as reports of Finance Ministry are taken to start with. Moreover, guide-
lines and press-releases of the Reserve Bank of India, various judgements of the
Indian Supreme Court and Ministers’ statements in the Indian Parliament and
various initiatives of states have also been taken as references to critically com-
prehend the convolution of blockchain in the Indian context.
Blockchain, distributed ledger, digital currency, transaction, communication
Twenty-first century is known for the knowledge economy, information and tech-
nology revolutions in the means of communication and transmission. The tradi-
tional roles of sharing and exchange of information and products have changed
tremendously. The trust between two individuals and entities has been
Indian Journal of Public
68(3) 397–413, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221105241
1 Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Surabhi Pandey, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi 110002, India.
398 Indian Journal of Public Administration 68(3)
revolutionised with the advent of new technology. Historically, entities like the
state took the responsibility of a mediator to facilitate the exchange of goods and
money among individuals and groups. Now, the new technologies have changed
the relationship between individuals and mediators completely. Online transac-
tions and virtual exchanges of goods and information have many benefits. They
have globally connected everyone stationed anywhere on the globe. Globalisation
and a new model of the Industrial Revolution and the advancement of information
and technology paved the path of easy and swift exchange and connectivity. They
have brought new challenges as well.
United Kingdom Police has exposed crypto currency scam and uncovered 22
million dollar in 2021. The victims were not only from UK but people at the global
level were financially cheated. ‘Cryptocurrencies worth $22.2 million (roughly
`165 crores) have been seized by the UK police after a global fraud scheme was
unearthed. They have found USB sticks containing large quantities of Ethereum,
the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world after Bitcoin’.1
Right to privacy and transparency has new challenges across the globe. Several
statesmen blame these big corporations for attacking the sovereignty of states.
The concept of supra-states seems to be a reality wherein the states as the sole
authority is being diminished in today’s world.
In Justice K. S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India crucial judgement of 2017,
they have quoted the Indian Constitution, Article 21, as a fundamental right
to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty. According to the judgement, ‘The
right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal
liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedom guaranteed by Part III of the
Constitution’.2 Thus, the decision of the court has far-reaching consequences in
the constitutional history of India.
Against this backdrop, the right to privacy, security, and fast and virtual trans-
action are not only the concerns of a society like ours but also of the entire world.
To fix such issues and concerns, a new kind of advanced technology was invented
in the last decade. Blockchain is an advanced technology that has become the
buzzword across the academicians and practitioners. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto,
using the pseudonym, illustrated how cryptology and an open distributed ledger
can be conjoined into a digital currency application. This was the first time that
the concepts of bitcoin and blockchain were introduced.
Globally, every state and firm is keen to understand its potentiality and capa-
bility in the near future. The significance of the blockchain technology, its appli-
cability and complexity are being debated and discussed exceptionally. As of
now, the knowledge economy has become the reality of the time. E-governance
and technological advancements have transformed the functioning and mode of
communication globally. Systematic literature review needs to be done to see
the scope and varied applications of blockchain technology in India. Along with
other States, the Indian government and other private and public organisations
tend to exploit the new technology as well. The immense potential of the distrib-
uted ledger technology, especially in financial transaction, supply chain, storage,
protection and monitoring of data are some of the main areas that Indian states are
working with. To analyse the expanding scope, gradual shift and infrastructural

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