Government of Karnataka organizes Bengaluru Tech Summit-Blockchain Conference To Develop Enabling Environment for Blockchain Technologies

Bengaluru 15th Feb: The ITC Gardenia Hotel in Bengaluru has seen many an event, and has hosted international and national business supremos, but on Friday, the 15th of February, the hotel was witness to an event unlike any before.

The Blockchain Conclave.
An initiative of the Bengaluru Tech Summit and Government of Karnataka, the Blockchain Conclave was attended by over 200 policymakers, industry professionals, and blockchain experts, who discussed and debated innovative ways of using blockchain in governance.

The Blockchain Conclave came on the back of the highly competitive, and first-of-its-kind Blockchain Hackathon, organised by the Government of Karnataka and the Bengaluru Tech Summit which saw students, young professionals, bureaucrats, academicians and many more coming together to ‘hack governance’. The hackathon was aimed at solving long-term governance problems and service delivery gaps using technology.

The conclave focussed on three main themes: Cryptocurrencies, Fintech and the rise of a new economics; Blockchain in governance and service delivery; and, the social impact of Blockchain.

The conclave began with opening remarks by Mr. Prakash Jayaram, Partner, Ernst & Young India. Mr. Jayaram set out the context for the conclave, and said, “There’s a lot of government activity surrounding blockchain and the Govt. of Karnataka is at the forefront of blockchain. The aim is to get 30 use cases within an year, and subsequently, some use cases maybe taken as fully fledged e-governance projects.”
Delivering a special address at the event, Minister of IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Mr Priyank Kharge said, “Blockchain is a highly disruptive emerging technology and the goal of the event is to see how Blockchain technology can solve real-life problems. Today’s conclave is a gathering of truly exceptional minds on Blockchain from India and abroad and the idea is to see if blockchain technology can be used to help the government and its functions.” Shri Kharge also highlighted the role played by the government of Karnataka to ensure all around development in the state and focus on job creation in core sectors of the state.

Mr. Dilipkumar Khandelwal, MD of SAP Labs India, also spoke at the inaugural session of the conclave, and said “The world around us is changing fast, across all industries and sectors. This change is technology driven and we want to train our youth for the future.” Mr. Khandelwal then presented a letter of intent to Shri Priyank Kharge to train 5000 youth from the state under the pathbreaking ‘Yuva Yuga’ scheme. The scheme was promoted by the government of Karnataka in association with SAP Labs to provide industry-relevant and employment-oriented IT skills to young people.

Panel discussions through the day saw industry leaders, experts, and policy makers come together to create a blueprint for the future. The first panel, on ‘Cryptocurrencies and the newly emerging economic models’ set the tone for the rest of the day. Led by Nitin Sharma, Founder & VC, Incrypt Blockchain, the first session panelists included Anirudh Rastogi, Partner at TRA Law, Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation at SBI and Benson Samuel,Chief Technology Office at Coinsecure. Discussions around the current and future state of Cryptocurrencies in FinTech comprised the majority of this session. Anirudh Rastogi added: “there are a lot of challenges and there will be some problems which might cause a knee-jerk reaction from the government. However, the government does seem like it will regulate the technology in the future to align itself with the global and local developments in this technology.