eMudhra, one of the for eSign service providers empanneled by the government and the UIDAI, will be launching an R&D center to explore various blockchain technologies for smart cities. The company will be hiring 100 people for the R&D center and develop solutions that will help various industries which require identity verification and authentication.

eMudhra is a KYC user agency (KUA) for the UIDAI and provides Aadhaar eKYC to perform e-signatures. The company added that it is looking to partner with government institutions for governance. Blockchain is the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies and bitcoins and distributed ledger where everyone in the system who has access to the blockchain knows exactly what is happening on each other’s ends.

Blockchains can be used to record all communication between multiple parties, which in turn reduces the need for additional verifications and authentications, paperwork, chances for forgery and digital storage of vital records that cannot be tampered.

The interest in blockchains and smart contracts in increasing from governments. Earlier this week, the Andhra Pradesh government said that it will be implementing blockchains for land records in the state and assign a unique identification for the same.  Smart contracts, a set of protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation of a contract. Smart contracts usually have a user interface which can emulate the logic of a contractual clause.They can also be used verify identities, check credit worthiness, sign contracts and disburse money using existing payments infrastructure.

RBI’s proof of concept

Meanwhile, in January, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI)  research wing, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), concluded a proof of concept study using blockchains for trade finance applications. The proof of concept was run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and banks like SBI, HDFC, Citibank and Deutsche Bank.

The study had recommended banks set up and use the technology internally, followed by inter-bank adoption. The blockchain will also help set up a centralized KYC, cross-border payments, loan syndication, trade finance and capital markets applications.