Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) says he believes in blockchain technology, which is set to redefine the financial world.
Talking at the virtual Infinity Forum on Friday, he said, "Blockchain is the technology I believe in. We are on the verge of introducing a data privacy bill, which I look forward to, and also the crypto currency bill. So, I think we are on the right track," Ambani said, adding that India is witnessing a digital-first revolution and the country is on the verge of building a digital society.
A bill for regulating cryptocurrency as a financial asset while safeguarding small investors, is in the works. The legislation may stipulate a minimum amount for investments in digital currencies while banning their use as legal tender. While the government is considering taxing gains from cryptocurrency, the Reserve Bank of India wants a complete ban on the same as it feels this could affect the nation’s macroeconomic and financial stability.
"We are witnessing the fourth revolution – that is the digital-first revolution, where digital will be life for billions of people – which will be used in all technology – five or six kinds of technology will merge together, they will transform the whole world," Ambani said.
Terming data as the new oil yet again, Ambani said the new oil is fundamentally different from the traditional one as traditional oil was extracted only at select places – thus, it created wealth only for some countries. In contrast, the new oil – that is Data – can be generated and consumed everywhere and by everybody. "It has the potential to create value equitably, across sectors, across geographies, across economic classes,” he said.
Ambani's telecom venture Reliance Jio Infocomm has accelerated internet adoption in the country since its launch in 2016. With 5G rollout next year in India, Ambani said, India is well on its way to have one of the most advanced infrastructures in the world.
“The next step will be the connectivity of machines, devices and vehicles, which is the Internet of Things," he said, adding that the convergence of real time, the convergence of the distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, smart tokens, the convergence of physical and digital through IoT will enable and redefine the decentralized financial sector in a way we have never imagined.
"I think it is happening in the coming 10 years, and again this will be a prerequisite to a great economic growth. Today there is more money chasing people and we are short of ideas, and I am sure all our young people will come with up with more and more ideas as there are still many problems to be solved in the world," Ambani added.