The Indian technical chief urges the embrace of cryptocurrency as an asset class


Nandan Nilekani has called on India to embrace cryptocurrencies as an asset class while authorities around the world struggle with how to embrace technology.

The chairman of Infosys, information technology and consulting society, believes that cryptocurrencies are too volatile and energy intensive to be used as a means of payment and see Indian culture. Unified Payments Interface digital payment infrastructure as more effective. But he said the cryptocurrency should be encouraged as an asset to buy and sell, as a commodity.

“As long as you have some of your assets in gold or real estate, you can have some of your assets in crypto,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “I think there’s a role for crypto as a stored value but certainly not in a transactional sense.”

Nilekani said allowing individuals and businesses to exploit the $ 1.5 billion market would allow “crypto guys to put their wealth into the Indian economy”.

The technology executive has long worked with Indian authorities to help develop digital policies, such as the Aadhaar biometric identity program. He also chaired a central bank committee on digital payments in 2019.

India is a potentially large market for crypto, but the country’s official situation is unclear, with the specter of a direct prohibition imminent despite increasing volumes among local traders.

A ban would make India one of the most draconian jurisdictions in the world when it comes to digital currencies, as authorities surround the world. consider how to regulate the crypt.

The Supreme Court of India last year overturned a 2018 central bank directive that stops cryptocurrencies. But the market continues to operate in a gray area, with some banks recently threatening to take action against crypto translators.

The government said this year that it would introduce legislation that was widely envisaged to ban private digital currencies in favor of an official currency managed by a central bank. Subsequently, officials made more conciliatory statements.

Infosys has enthusiastically adopted blockchain technology that supports cryptocurrencies as it appears to offer a growing range of digital tools to its multinational customers.

But India’s IT industry was hard blow from the country’s second fierce coronavirus wave, with companies facing widespread infection among employees and regulators worried about a possible disruption to back-office operations. Nilekani argued that the commercial impact was limited and homes were now collapsing.

Nilekani argued that Infosys ’experience and scale – the company has about 250,000 employees – meant it was well-placed to thrive when companies renewed their internal systems to adapt to a remote or flexible post-pandemic work routine.

This includes the request to switch to the cloud. Although Infosys does not usually reveal the identities of its customers, it has secured deals with companies including Daimler, the German carmaker, and the American investment group Vanguard last year.

“I think, frankly, the opportunities today are better than ever,” Nilekani said. “In the 40 years I’ve been in this industry, I’ve never seen so many changes and accelerations happen.”

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