Head & Technical Architect at DCB Bank Prasanna Lohar: “IT specialists should look at blockchain ASAP”
25 January 2018
25 January 2018
IT specialists should look at blockchain as soon as possible. But currently blockchain is surrounded with some challenges like availability of skillset, regulation support.
This is the opinion of Prasanna Lohar, Head & Technical Architect at DCB Bank and a speaker at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru. During our interview, we discussed the development of blockchain technology in banking segment, as well as the importance of blockchain experienced specialists in India.
Interviewer: Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru (BCB)
Speaker: Prasanna Lohar (P.L.)
BCB: How in demand are blockchain specialists in India right now?
P.L.: Blockchain specialists are very much in demand in India right now. So far in 2018, Governments & Banks have understood the potential of this Radical change Technology. In fact we at DCB Bank seeking blockchain specialists through College Institutes, Startups & FinTech. We run a program called “Innovation Carnival”. We have seen adoption of blockchain technology in India is immense. We could see many colleges and universities have started Blockchain Certification courses to bring this skillset.
BCB: Do you think that IT specialists, who have not yet encountered blockchain, should look into the distributed ledger technology? Why do you think so?
P.L.: IT specialists should certainly look at blockchain as soon as possible. I could see surge of adoption is very high around blockchain & many Industries will adopt the blockchain journey. Blockchain gives many benefits towards current infrastructure considering performance, data immutability & security. Current banking system has typical issues like manual intervention, settlement or reconciliation etc.
Blockchain could be potential solution to build trusted systems in future. IT specialist should know more around technology behind blockchain & distributed ledger technology. Also I recommend IT specialist to work on core of blockchain technologies i.e. consensus mechanism & various improvements around it.
BCB: As Head & Technical Architect at DCB Bank, tell us what is the difference between implementing blockchain in financial sphere and in non-financial sectors?
P.L.: Financial sphere are bound with regulation & compliance. We undergo various stages while implementing Systems. I must say IT security, compliance & audit are major stakeholders to sign-off sanity of working system. This brings on safe & secure system to use. I feel it will take some time for internal stakeholders to understand blockchain technology before signing-off of relevant systems. Most of the financial organizations has already started this adoption journey with awareness programs at bank level.
BCB: In the banking sector, blockchain can potentially speed up transactions and reduce commissions. But in reality, even world's largest banks have not yet implemented the blockchain system to have these advantages. Why do you think that is?
P.L.: Blockchain implementation is not only around robust & performing solution. It will be depend on type of usecases banks will choose for blockchain implementation. Typically banks have already invested a lot on Payment Systems e.g. UPI has took more than 1 year for its potential use case adoption in India & UPI is implemented with known technologies.
I feel, currently blockchain is surrounded with some challenges like availability of skillset, regulation support, technology challenges & availability of expert service providers. But soon we should see few usecases which will help to resolve regular issues like commission problems, security & performance in banking sector. I am practicing blockchain since over 2 years and with rise of BankChain Platform & various Fintech it will be easy future.
BCB: What is your opinion on ICO?
P.L.: An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. The legal state of ICO is mostly undefined. Ideally, the token is sold not as a financial asset but as a digital good like many other things. This is why ICO is often called “crowd sale”. In this case, in the most jurisdiction, the funding with an ICO is not regulated, which makes it extremely easy and paperless, given a lawyer experienced with the issue is on board. It is therefore, in sum, crucial to develop a robust IP strategy before launching an ICO to instill higher confidence in potential investors and create a differentiator in the market.
BCB: Do you think that blockchain will become as important for humanity, as the Internet turned out to be in its time?
P.L.: Yes. I am excited about blockchain future & definitely blockchain has potential to change life of countries they way they operate. Take example in emerging counties fund flow can be tracked with help of blockchain and it will surely help to reduce corruption. Also many such usecases will bring trust factor among humanity. I must name use cases like supply chain management, trade finance, cross border payment, identity management system, loan syndication, real-estate smart contracts, government relevant process automation will enhance efficiency. Many countries like Estonia, Dubai have adopted good use cases of blockchain.
BCB: Tell us a little more about what your presentation at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Bengaluru will touch on.
P.L.: I will touch base on fundamentals of blockchain, role of blockchain in digital transformation, various technical aspects of blockchain, technique to identify usecases for blockchain, few government usecases. I will cover adoption framework for blockchain, progress of blockchain in India and necessary actions to fast track it.
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