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The Central Bank of India announced the plan to create a committee to study the distributed ledger. The bank management admits the technology has a “tremendous potential”.

Besides the bank's experts, the committee will include representatives of various industries and the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).

According to Deputy Governor H.R. Khan, who presented the project at a IDRBT-hosted conference

“Blockchain is one thing that has come out of Bitcoin which provides a lot of flexibility in terms of financial transactions. So, we need to study… how this Blockchain technology can be used in financial transactions where the entire data systems move to some more levels.”

It is remarkable that in 2013, RBI saw cryptocurrencies as a danger and warned the citizens against their use, quoting possible financial, legal and security risks. However, in 2015, the regulator recognised that the blockchain might be a helpful devise to fight money forgery – one of the main problems the Indian financial system is facing. Besides, by introducing the blockchain technology RBI hopes to cut expenses associated with paper currency production and transportation.

India currently sees bitcoin and fintech startups flourish. “The environment in India for cryptocurrency is extremely positive and we are planning to utilise the amount to promote bitcoins as a reliable currency and investment option,” notes Saurabh Aggarwal, co-founder of the Indian bitcoin wallet Zebpay in his interview to the Economic Times. In the last three years, the investment into Indian fintech startups soared to $1.3 bln, as demonstrated by the research of Zinnov consulting firm.

Ludmila Brus