By Ashutosh Singh, Founder , Wortheum Blockchain
New Delhi, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in collaboration with the Bharat Web3 Association, successfully organized a workshop titled “Demystifying Web3” to create awareness about the transformative potential of Web3, Blockchain, and Virtual Digital Assets (VDAs). The workshop aimed to foster government-industry engagement and explore the opportunities and challenges associated with these emerging technologies.
The workshop witnessed the participation of key officials from various Ministries and Departments, including the Office of PSA, DRDO, NITI Aayog, Department of Economic Affairs, BIS, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, NIC, CDAC, as well as industry organizations like NASSCOM.
Distinguished experts from these domains shared their experiences and insights, making the workshop a valuable platform for knowledge exchange.
The opening address was delivered by Smt. Sunita Verma, Scientist ‘G’ and Group Coordinator (R&D in Electronics, IT & Digital India Bhashini Group, MeitY).
She emphasized the significance of Web3 technologies in the current digital landscape and provided an overview of the National Blockchain Technology Stack initiated by the Ministry.
In his inaugural address, Shri Bhuvnesh Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY, acknowledged the apprehensions surrounding new technology innovations. He stressed the importance of striking a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring regulation for safe use.
Shri Kumar highlighted the need for a clear understanding of Web3 technology, its applications, and use cases. He expressed his vision for the workshop to be a platform for discussing the relevance of Web3 and addressing the associated risks.
The keynote speech was delivered by Shri Dilip Chenoy, Chairman of the Bharat Web3 Association. Shri Chenoy highlighted the immense potential of Web3 in India and revealed that over 450 startups are actively developing diverse Web3 solutions across various domains.
He emphasized India’s role as a global leader in the Web3 space, not only in terms of exporting talent but also technology. Shri Chenoy shed light on the objective of the Bharat Web3 Association, which aims to create awareness, promote collaboration, and foster an enabling environment to fulfill India’s vision of becoming a leader in the Web3 space.
Expert sessions were conducted to provide comprehensive insights into different aspects of Web3. Mr. Manhar Garegat, Co-Founder & CEO of Panthera Web3 Wallet Suite, presented on the basics of Blockchain technology and Web3.
He explained the functioning of Blockchain, differentiating between public/private and permissioned/permissionless Blockchains.
Mr. Garegat highlighted the transition from Web1.0 to Web2.0 and the evolution towards Web3, which aims to empower users by placing data back in their hands. He also emphasized the significance of Virtual Digital Assets (VDAs) within the public Blockchain ecosystem.
Mr. Aman Sanduja, Founder of Black Rabbit Studios, focused on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their increasing popularity. He revealed that India leads in NFT adoption, with a 7% ownership rate, and highlighted the growing market for NFTs in the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Sanduja provided various use cases of NFTs in art, gaming, film, music, fashion, and the metaverse. He also showcased government use cases, such as using NFTs for educational certificates, promoting heritage and tourism through tokenization, and more.
Mr. Aishwary Gupta, DeFi Chief of Staff at Polygon Labs, shared Polygon’s efforts in building Blockchain solutions for mass adoption.
He discussed Polygon’s primary solutions, including Polygon zkEVM, government use cases in India through Polygon PoS, and Polygon Supernets.
Mr. Gupta highlighted Polygon’s collaborations with various state governments, such as Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, for implementing Blockchain-based solutions in areas like welfare, asset tracking, law enforcement, and digital identities.
He also mentioned international use cases, including setting up a tokenized asset exchange in Singapore and Japan, and designing cultural NFTs and national IDs for Mongolia.
Ms. Meghna Bal, Head of Research & Fellow at Esya Centre, presented the Digital Asset Regulation Tracker, which provides an overview of digital asset regulation in G20 nations. She discussed the motivations behind global regulation efforts, including innovation and competitiveness, national security risks, user risk, financial stability, and systemic risk.
Ms. Bal highlighted the nations that legally recognize VDAs and provided insights into the various regulatory aspects, such as restrictions, taxation, licensing, and AML regulations. She concluded with recommendations for technology governance, emphasizing the need for digital governance by design, clear definitions, principles of tech neutrality, risk-based applications, and agility.
Ms. Anushree Verma, Director Analyst at Gartner, stressed the importance of understanding the benefits of adopting a technology before undertaking a project. She presented a range of Blockchain use cases, categorized by their implementation complexity, and advised starting with easier projects to familiarize oneself with the technology. Ms. Verma shared Gartner’s analysis on the timeline for applications and use cases to become mainstream.
Representatives from C-DAC and NIC showcased various Blockchain applications implemented by government departments, including certificate chains, property chains, document chains, drug logistics chains, b-voting, and domicile.
They presented the National Blockchain Framework (NBF) and explained the Blockchain Interoperability Gateway (BIG) along with proposed approaches. The speakers also expressed the Ministry’s plan to involve Blockchain and Web3 industry startups in the NBF under the Ministry’s guidance.
The workshop marked the beginning of MeitY’s efforts to develop the National Blockchain Framework, advance the National Blockchain Strategy, and drive regulatory developments.
Building on its success, MeitY aims to nurture internal champions within the Ministry and other departments for emerging technologies. MeitY, in collaboration with the Bharat Web3 Association, plans to organize hackathons to encourage talent and develop use cases for the government sector.
The Ministry will continue its dialogue with Web3 players and experts, exploring partnerships and identifying future opportunities.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) serves as the nodal Ministry for IT enablement, innovation, and the promotion of emerging technologies in India. It aims to harness the power of technology for inclusive growth, digital empowerment, and sustainable development.
About Bharat Web3 Association:
The Bharat Web3 Association is an organization comprising leading players in the Web3 ecosystem, including Polygon, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch, Hike, and more. It works towards creating awareness, fostering collaboration, and establishing a conducive environment to position India as a global leader in the Web3 space.
NB: The writer is the founder of Wortheum Blockchain