Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd on 11 January 2018 announced its plans to create its own cyptocurrency, 'JioCoin'. Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash Ambani will be leading the JioCoin project.
Reliance Jio plans to build a 50-member team of young professionals with average age of 25 years to work on this blockchain technology, which can also be used to develop applications such as smart contracts and supply chain management logistics. The team would also work on various blockchain products.
Reliance Jio also aspires to get into Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a network of devices such as smartphones, wearable devices, home appliances and vehicles that are connected to the internet, which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.
What is Blockchain technology?
• Blockchain is a digital ledger for storing data including financial transactions.
• The Digital records are put together into blocks and then leaped together cryptographically and chronologically into a chain using complex mathematical algorithms. The encryption process is termed as ‘hashing’.
• Hashing is carried out by different computers. If they all agree on the answer, each block receives a unique digital signature.
• Once updated, the ledger or blockchain cannot be altered or tampered with.
• Blockchain distributes information without it being copied.
• The information is held on blockchain through a shared database which can be accessed on a real-time basis.
• This database is not stored on physical servers but on the cloud, which makes it easy to store unlimited data.
• The most popular example of Blockchain technology is cryptocurrency and one such cryptocurrency that has gained momentum in recent times is Bitcoin.
Indian government's take on cryptocurrency
Indian government has frequently cautioned the people against cryptocurrencies, stating that cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies are not backed by assets and pose risks such as money laundering. Indian Government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender.
A committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have come under the scanner of Indian Government as their soaring prices attracted several speculators and retail investors. Seeing the increase in cryptocurrency investments and their uncertainty, various countries including South Korea have reiterated their proposal to ban local cryptocurrency exchanges.
Fact Box: Bitcoin
Who: Reliance Jio
When: 11 January 2018