- Top corporate organizations in India are reportedly experimenting with cryptocurrencies
- Firms like Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), HDFC Bank and others are now using cryptoassets and DLT for their internal operations.
- Some organizations may soon start using cryptos to carry out “broad-based transactions” shortly if all goes as planned.
While India’s financial watchdog, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has so far exhibited a somewhat harsh stance towards bitcoin and other cryptoassets, leading banks and financial institutions in the region have integrated cryptos and distributed ledger technology (DLT) into their operations, using the nascent technologies to pay vendors, suppliers and as a transparent treasury management tool, reported Economic Times on January 5, 2018.
Big Indian Financial Institutions Leveraging Cryptos and Blockchain
Per sources close to the matter, a significant number of banks, as well as other financial institutions in India, are seriously experimenting with cryptocurrencies and its underlying blockchain technology, despite the draconian policies of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) concerning digital currencies.
In July 2018, reports emerged that India’s apex bank had mandated local banks and other financial institutions under its purview to desist from servicing bitcoin-linked businesses, citing the use of cryptoassets by bad actors to aid their money laundering activities.
“In light of the inherent risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or businesses dealing with or settling cryptocurrencies,” declared the RBI at the time.
Despite the blanket ban on bitcoin and other digital assets, forward-thinking corporate organizations have reportedly started pointing their searchlights into these innovative technologies to find out how it could help them revolutionize their businesses.
According to ET, firms such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), a Mumbai-based consumer goods company, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), HDFC Bank and ABG Shipyard and others, have launched crypto and blockchain-based pilots for internal treasury management, record keeping, payments, trade and finance functions and more.
Commenting on the development, Sai Venkateshwaran, partner and head of CFO advisory at KPMG India noted that:
“Several large firms are evaluating various use cases of DLT, including in areas such as managing intra-group transactions and for more efficient cash and working capital management.”
Will 2019 Be Good to Cryptos?
While 2018 was not particularly favorable to bitcoin and altcoins regarding price movement, experts have predicted that the price of bitcoin could surge again in 2019 just like 2017.
On January 3, 2018, Weiss Ratings released its cryptocurrency forecast for 2019, predicting that bitcoin will increasingly be used as a store of value this year and the flagship crypto would hit another all-time high, while other unknown cryptoassets like Hedera Hashgraph will also moon significantly.