Indian State Government Launches Country’s First ‘Blockchain District’

The government of the Telangana, a southern Indian state, is partnering with a major IT firm to establish a district exclusive to blockchain startups in the state’s capital city.

The Telangana State Information Technology, Electronics and Communication Department (ITE&C) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with multinational IT services giant Tech Mahindra to establish what is being billed as ‘India’s first Blockchain District’.

As reported by financial news daily the Economic Times, the Blockchain District will function as an incubator for domestic blockchain startups and companies to develop real-world applications of the decentralized technology. Specifically, the government-backed physical premises of the ‘district’ will be situated in Hyderabad, the state’s capital city known for its technology-forward agenda over the last decade.

“Telangana government is proud to pioneer the first of its kind Blockchain District in India,” the state’s IT minister KT Rama Rao was quoted as stating.

The senior government official added:

“With support from Tech Mahindra, we envision to set a global benchmark in providing cutting-edge Blockchain technology solutions and platforms across industries.”

Notably, the state government has pledged to provide both regulatory and policy support for companies and startups in the sector to promote the integration of blockchain technology domestically and beyond.

Coinciding with the launch of the space is Tech Mahindra’s own announcement to launch a major blockchain project in the district. Dubbed the Eleven01 Protocol, the project aims to deliver a government-compliant platform for startups to build decentralized applications ‘capable of performing over 10,000 transactions a second’, an announcement by Tech Mahindra read.

“The protocol will power an entire ecosystem of services for Indian blockchain startups, ranging from advisories, incubators, center for excellences (COEs) and venture funds,” Eleven01 Foundation’s chief in India Rama Iyer said. “With this, early stage blockchain startups will get every kind of support required from a single, cohesive entity.”

The blockchain district and the indigenous platform joins a growing list of initiatives taken by Telangana to further blockchain technology. Over a year ago, Telangana and the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh began developing early pilots to record their land registries on a blockchain. More recently, state officials in Telangana have embraced blockchain technology to bring transparency and mitigate fraud within government bodies.

The Andhra Pradesh government is also a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a working group of companies and organizations looking to leverage open-source Ethereum technology for enterprise applications. The state’s coastal city of Vishakapatnam or Vizag, is also known for being a hub for industry startups as a part of its government-backed ‘FinTech Valley’ initiative.

Hyderabad image from Shutterstock.

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