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Cryptocurrency, Blockchain: India Develops Framework For Citizenry

By Dayo Adesulu

Rising from the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors summit held in Japan last week, India has developed Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology framework for its citizenry.

The inter ministerial panel tasked with drafting the country’s cryptocurrency regulation is ready to submit its recommendations to the finance minister, according to Finance Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg who heads the panel.

You will recall that one of the agenda discussed at the G20 meeting was how Central Banks of each country could regulates cryptocurrency asset.

At the summit, India and other G20 countries had reaffirmed their commitment to follow the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force which is expected to release its new Guidance for Virtual Currencies later this month.

Against the backdrop, Indian government has initiated a 12-week interactive course for undergraduates to learn about cryptocurrency, blockchains and their use cases.

According to the India government, the free 12-week interactive course topics would cover Bitcoin basics and consensus. The reading material for the course includes “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies” by Andreas Antonopoulos and “Blockchain” by Melanie Swan.

Spare heading the campaign is indigenous Swayam platform initiated by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, vowing to offer a free computer science course on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchains for interested undergraduates.

Swayam further stated that it seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy

It posited that the 12-week undergraduate course entitled “Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases” would run from July 29 to Oct. 18, while the exam will be on Nov. 17 for those interested in obtaining a certificate from the course.

This is an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved Faculty Development Programme (FDP) course.

Interestingly, the Swayam course will start one week after the Indian supreme court had scheduled to hear the cryptocurrency case. According to report, the court is expected to address the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency as well as the banking ban by the central bank on July 23.

In the first week of the course, students will learn “Basic Crypto Primitives” and an “Introduction to Blockchain,” which includes the basics, history, architecture, and conceptualization. Basic Crypto Primitives continues through the second week when students will also learn more of the basics of Bitcoin and “Distributed Consensus.”

While the majority of the coursework focuses on code and computer science concepts, the Bitcoin Basics lectures give the full picture of Bitcoin including some limited economics and how the cryptocurrency is in competition with central banks globally. “You must limit the currency to have their value. If you put up a lot of currency in the system, it will gradually reduce the value of that particular currency,” one of the lectures explains.

In the third week, “Consensus in Bitcoin” will be taught, including the basics of proof-of-work and the role of miners. Students will also learn about permissioned blockchains which will continue to the following week. The fifth and sixth weeks will focus on hyperledger with the remaining of the course discussing applications for blockchains, including uses in government and financial services.

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