In today’s globalized world, disease outbreaks do not stop at national borders. A health threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere. Efforts taken by the United Nations [UN], World Health Organization [WHO] and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] in conjunction with the healthcare efforts taken up by various governments, NGOs, Research Institutions, Branded Pharma Companies etc. have managed to reduce the impact of Communicable Diseases and as per 2016 WHO data, Lower Respiratory Tract Infection is the only Communicable Disease that features in the list of Top 10 Diseases Causing Death. Globally. And hence, in today’s world, it’s not enough to only focus on vaccination and cure but it’s equally important to do effective reporting to control the cross border movement.

Image Source – BlockChain

This is a perfect use case for Blockchain!

Using blockchain technology to record infected person’s information on a distributed ledger can allow stakeholders in different countries, conditional access to a single source of truth.  A patient’s health data can be recorded on a ledger as a transaction with a time stamped audit trail. This makes Communicable Disease information more secure [patient data is encrypted], can take out the inefficiencies with current reporting practices of sending emails or some other form of non-trusted way of reporting data and real time distribution of data to research centres, quarantine facilities, Points of Entries [POEs] etc.

A centralized system to upload infection and infected party related data is the fastest and the most efficient way of reporting them, within and across border. But security is a major concern for any Healthcare data, especially when it’s about an individual, who is infected by a Communicable Disease. Any mistake therein, can prove really expensive. Hence any system used for this purpose need to be highly secure. Not all record sharing system, using the internet, will be secure. The system might be able to share data real time but the quality of data may be questioned. They might become the hackers’ target.

Blockchain Technology, with its built-in security will be able to address these concerns. Each relevant party can be a node in the chain, and on-boarding a node can also be monitored and approved by an International Organization, like WHO, in this particular case, given the required confidentiality. Blockchain Technology has the underlying trust infrastructure built in. It doesn’t require validation by a centralized authority. Hence it’s faster and real time. Furthermore, Blockchain also removes the need for any intermediary, thereby reducing the cost of operations.

In fact, Blockchain has been garnering substantial attention across industries, with VC’s investing over USD 1.4 billion in the technology in the past 3 years. The World Economic Forum estimates 10% of the global GDP to be stored using Blockchain by 2027.

The top five advantages of Blockchain technology are:

  1. Greater transparency
  2. Enhanced security
  3. Improved traceability
  4. Increased efficiency and speed
  5. Reduced cost

Aren’t they all supremely important for reporting cross-border Communicable Disease cases, a challenge the whole world is trying to grapple with?

About the author

Mohua Sengupta is the EVP & Global Head at Services at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about her can be found here

Blockchain implementations are mostly POCs being done in the hope to convert them to fully fledged projects.  The main real world implementations are still not mainstream. There are many factors in play but one of the most prominent one is positioning of technology itself.

Image Source – BlockChain

Satoshi Nakamoto and his Bitcoin are for sure the reason for the popularity of the Blockchain or DLT in general. Blockchain technology professionals understood the problems with Bitcoin technology, its positioning and moved on with furthering the idea with new innovations.

The activists and enthusiasts are however still fixated with promises of the Bitcoin’s whitepaper, and would want to eliminate the intermediary with Blockchain technology. One should acknowledge that the activists helped a lot to keep Blockchain active in public memory for a decade when there was no real impact on the ground. One can understand their enthusiasm and motivation.

The problem is with good intention people in business and technology community who are still in the awe of the promises of Bitcoin. They are now hurting the cause and becoming the burden by forcing the one thought or one defined checklist for any Blockchain implementation. I think technology should be allowed to evolve organically and is not made the prisoner of the ‘original idea’.

I believe ‘Identifying the business problem you want to solve‘, and will be the key to the success of any Blockchain implementation [rather than the phrase ‘Blockchain implementation’ it should rather be ‘Blockchain network setup’ and ‘application implementations’ on that setup].

Eliminating intermediaries is Utopian idea where one is asking to get into business transaction wherein one has to believe set of programmers of Blockchain platform rather than entity that can be dragged in the court of law in the situations of dispute.

I think the right approach is to eliminate the frictions in business processes where multiple parties are involved. Intermediary could still be there as entity to ensure accountability, but Blockchain could minimize the inefficiencies by redesigning the business processes where entire chain is acting on same platform as a distributed workflow. And this workflow is not owned by a single entity but by all in the network.

One also has to start thinking of building capacity within organization to setup the necessary infrastructure so that business processes can be redesigned. The second good thing one has to attempt is to choose the ‘right platform’ to setup Blockchain network and build applications.

About the Author

Satoshi Nakamoto was said to have become very disillusioned with central banks and governments handling our money and facilitating payments. This was in the backdrop of Lehman Brothers going down and great recession of year 2008 when Bitcoin was born. It’s almost a decade since Bitcoin first came into being. The idea was to create digital currency and global payment system which is free from any government control.

Image Source – BlockChain

Major Promises

  1. Government or any other authority will never know as how much money you hold and your transactions won’t be traced back to you. There will be 100 % privacy.
  2. Cross border payments and money transfer will be on real time without any third party involved to facilitate payment.

Well, we still don’t see Bitcoin [or any other crypto currency] being used in mainstream buying and selling.

What went wrong?

  1. Transaction time is in minutes and hours compared to seconds in centralized systems [except the cross border payments]. Bitcoin can’t scale beyond 7–10 transactions per second.
  2. Minors are free to pickup transactions from available pool of transactions while creation of blocks. Transaction even after being picked up by minor for block may end up back in the pool if part of block which was discarded by the network. There is just no fairness.
  3. One has to wait until the time you are sure that your transaction [block] is not going to be discarded. There is off course no guarantee of finality. It’s only the probability which increases with time.
  4. Bitcoin minors tend to consolidate to location where electricity is cheap. There is risk of government crackdown and takeover of the network.
  5. Governments are banning Bitcoin and other crypto currencies.For example, internet has moved to where it is today with many generations of evolution.
    Telecom Networks -> Packet Switching Networks -> ARPANET -> TCP/IP [OSI] -> InternetThe above is the simplistic view of evolution path of internet. This however was not simplistic, if we go back in time and explore the history of internet. ARPANET is one which succeeded but there were many more networks. But ARPANET was successfully able to solve problems and grow around the open standards. Open standard was very crucial for one single network to be where it is today.I have listed few problems with Bitcoin technology which has prevented it to become mainstream. It is so encouraging that there are other platforms which have already solved these problems. For example, the hashgraph technology which is essentially a consensus algorithm, seems to have solved many problems.
  • Scalability – Hashgraph can achieve 250,000+ transactions/second in current avatar.
  • Finality – There is finality of transaction which is not based on probability. It is based on ‘Gossip protocol’ and virtual voting.
  • Fairness – Transactions are not at the mercy of minors to get picked up to be part of ledger. Transactions get picked up as they are executed.

The only problem I see with hashgraph is that it’s not an open standard but patented technology. This limits everyone to contribute to the growth of hashgraph as universally accepted standard.

I see Hyperledger Fabric as a very favorable ledger technology for enterprise adoption. The most promising part of the Hyperledger Fabric is its architecture. It is modular and ready for further evolution based on open standards. The consensus algorithm for hashgraph could also be used as consensus algorithm for Hyperledger Fabric.

I believe there are two things that should happen for blockchain to get the maturity of internet.

  • Open Standards – There should be investments to evolve open standards, which will allow everyone to contribute and benefit, similar to TCP/IP.
  • Government involvement – Blockchain will be more impactful with active involvement of the government, as it was for internet.

I am overall very optimistic about blockchain and also about this becoming mainstream in near future.

About the author

Pushpendra Baghel is the Head Solutions & Technology Advisory Group at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about him can be found here

Elemential Labs Pvt Ltd announced that it’s participating in Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Julian Gordon, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Hyperledger, Linux Foundation APAC Limited, said

Elemential is a key contributor in the Indian ecosystem. They are building large projects with major enterprises across a multitude of industries including KYC, capital markets and trade finance. We are delighted to have them on board as part of our open source community and are even happier to see them using our frameworks for their use cases.

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organization and dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects to accelerate technology development and industry adoption. Hyperledger is a global collaboration, hosted by the Linux Foundation and started in 2015.  At present, it has more than 250 members worldwide. Hyperledger aims to build an ecosystem where members and non members can collectively maintain open, cross-industry, code bases and frameworks built upon blockchain technologies.

Speaking about the membership, Raunaq Vaisoha, CEO of Elemential Labs Pvt Ltd said

Hyperledger has recognized that in order for Blockchain to get mainstream adoption in the enterprise world, it has to separate itself from permissionless ledgers like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Distributed systems require trust between parties to succeed. Permissioned ledgers create an environment of trust. We are excited to be members of an ever growing global community of blockchain evangelists from enterprises all over the world.

Elemential is currently building NSE’s CKYC Blockchain implementation to transform the KYC process in India. Beyond this, it is also building three other projects with NSE and its clearing and settlement subsidiary NSE Clearing, tackling the issues of collateral management, institutional trade confirmations and proxy voting, all powered by Hyperledger Fabric.

About Elemential

Elemential is a blockchain start-up based out of Mumbai. It enables enterprise engineering teams to build, deploy and manage blockchain networks seamlessly using its product suite – Elements [Smart Contract Framework], Command Centre [Administration Console] and Hadron [Open Source Installer]. Elemential’s platform has been trusted by several major Financial Institutions and has been leveraged by NSE. It is backed by major investors such as Matrix Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Hinduja Group and DCG.

Blockchain technology is one of the most popular skills of the decade. To meet the demands of offering education to all, Unocoin has introduced Unoversity. Unoversity is a one-stop solution for procuring Blockchain skills and to be updated with latest trends in the industry. Unocoin is India’s leading Crypto-asset exchange and blockchain company, offering services to over 1.5 million customers.

Naveen C T, Global Business Head, Unoversity, said

Blockchain is the next massive revolution which is transforming the world at a rapid rate. With the rise of globalization, businesses today operate over the internet, leaving room for cyber threats. The rise of the blockchain tech promises to solve some of the key challenges gnawing at us in this age of digitization. It is no wonder then that countries & corporate organizations alike spend billions of dollars in Blockchain R&D.

With the coming of age of the fintech and the digital infrastructure, blockchain is going to offer jobs to many. We, as a forerunner in this industry, have taken the responsibility to educate people on Blockchain technology, development and its impact in the future.

As India continues to ride strong on the fintech wave, blockchain is inevitably the future we are headed towards. During his Union Budget 2018 address, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley disclosed the government’s plans of looking into blockchain technologies for ushering India into digital economy. With an increasing adoption of blockchain technology in various industries, including the banking and finance sector, blockchain talent is presented with glorious prospects. With the advent of Unoversity, blockchain aspirants will now have to a reliable source to hone their talent and achieve career progression.

Unoversity aims to offer Indian universities and colleges a platform to collaborate with them, aiding these educational institutions in introducing blockchain in their respective curriculum. It also offers to educate faculties in blockchain and set up a blockchain research centre in college campuses. Students and faculties will have an opportunity to involve themselves in the real world blockchain projects. The platform offers latest blockchain projects and analytics in the industry. Furthermore, Unoversity aims to collaborate with state and central governments for widening the prospect of its motive and creating more jobs and growth opportunities in this sector.

Unoversity is now open for registrations for the affiliated universities. Institutions interested in adding blockchain in their curriculum may get in touch with Unoversity here


Backed by Unocoin, UNOVERSITY is a knowledge-based education portal, bringing aspirants closer to all blockchain and crypto-assets courses. With the courses covering the fundamentals and in-depth knowledge of blockchain, crypto-assets, development, finance, security, technology, and more, UNOVERSITY promises to be world’s largest and go-to portal for education in blockchain and crypto-assets. In addition to Blockchain and Crypto courses, UNOVERSITY also covers Blockchain Assets, shares resources on POCs [software and networks], and Recent Trends in the field. The portal also supports aspirants by aggregating different job openings in the world of blockchain development and more. More details can be found here.

Whether you are an employed professional, student, entrepreneur, or investor – technology touches us all. It is mandatory to keep pace with technological revolutions that will shape the future, in order to ensure that none of us are left behind.

Image Source – BlockChain

Free Global Blockchain Workshop!

Blockchain is a technology that is hugely disruptive, just the way the internet created a significant disruption in the late 1990’s and the early 2000s. There are many use cases of Blockchain that hold immense potential to disrupt many businesses across the world. Some examples of such use cases include Finance, eCommerce, Distributed Storage, Crypto Currencies, Smart Contracts and Decentralization.

Dr. Arthur Langer, Director, Center for Technology Management – Columbia University & Dr. Artit Wangperawong, PhD, Stanford University and Chief Technology Officer, will discuss the disruptive role of Blockchain and what it means for the future of technology.

You can expect to learn more about

  • Basics of Blockchain and how it works
  • What are the potential uses of Blockchain
  • What it all means for the future of technology

This webinar is hosted by in partnership with Columbia University CTM.

The most popular questions in the technology world today is most definitely the one on whether Hashgraph is better than Blockchain. The life and credibility of the Blockchain is being questioned and Hashgraph is being predicted as the technology of the future.

Image Source – DLT

While it is difficult to predict whether Blockchain is a thing of the past and whether Hashgraph is the final answer, one thing is sure, Hashgraph definitely addresses a lot of the critical challenges that Blockchain has been grappling with, the challenge of speed of processing, the challenge of fairness, and the huge challenge of requiring multiple industry regulators to come together

Hashgraph can process 250000+ transactions per second as opposed to Blockchain’s 7 transactions per second.  Hashgraph is fast because it uses Gossip protocol to spread messages to the network and also performs some optimization of the gossiped messages to reduce the communication overhead.  One other reason behind this speed of Hashgraph is because Hashgraph today uses private, permissioned networks.

Coming to fairness, the main challenge of Blockchain is its dependence on miners.  There could be forking and delay because of the actions of the miners, who can manipulate the process.  Since Hashgraph is based on consensus and time stamping, it’s faster and more accurate.  The Virtual Voting Consensus Algorithm of Hashgraph, which was invented by Dr. Leemon Baird, makes it straightforward to know how a node would vote and this data can be used as an input to the voting algorithm and to find whichever transactions have reached consensus quickly, thus making it more fair.

According to me, one of the biggest challenge for Blockchain to be a commonly used technology, is the need for multiple industry regulators to come together and set regulations which will cut across industries. As I have said before also, a Blockchain, or for that matter any DLT is beneficial only when the chains are big or integrated to each other. While it’s not really a technical challenge, given the water tight compartments of today, it’s an enormous roadblock to overcome for a DLT. Hashgraph is planning to overcome or partially address that challenge by way of their 39-member council.  If run properly it will take care of enabling cross-industry discussions and regulations.

Added to this, Hashgraph’s security is also claimed to be better than that of Blockchain.  Hashgraph has been proven to be fully asynchronous Byzantine. This means that it doesn’t make any assumption about how fast messages are passed over the internet and this makes it resilient against DDoS attacks, botnets, and firewalls. While the security in Blockchain was never a challenge, the Byzantine Consensus of Hashgraph makes it stronger.

While Hashgraph does seem to have quite a few advantages over Blockchain, we cannot say that Blockchain is a thing of the past and Hashgraph is the new technology of the future.  I can only predict that Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] is the way to go, but whether it will be Blockchain or Hashgraph or Tangle or any other DLT, only time can tell.  They are all evolving and evolving very fast.  As Distributed Ledger Technologies move beyond the POC stage to actual implementation stage, we will see even faster evolution.  So it’s very hard to predict which DLT is here to stay because tomorrow is truly another day!

About the author

Mohua Sengupta is the EVP & Global Head at Services at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about her can be found here

Ever since the Punjab National Bank Fraud case has come to light, many believers of Blockchain have been saying that Blockchain could have stopped it.  Present company included.  I for one, very truly believe that Blockchain will become pervasive and not too far away.  But could it have avoided this huge fraud that has shaken the Indian Banking system? Well it’s hard to respond in the affirmative knowing that no technology is smarter than the human brain at its best. If the intent is wrong, loopholes are found or made. Just as in this case.

Image Source – BlockChain

What was the main reason behind this fraud? While there were multiple, like mal-intent of account holders, corrupt employees, audit failure, manual contracts etc., the key reason was un-integrated applications, i.e, the SWIFT gateway was not integrated with PNB’s Core Banking System. So transferring data from one to the other was a manual process! When money was lent by foreign branches of other Indian banks, based on the false LOU issued by PNB, no record was being made in the banks CBS.  Thus year after year, the fraud remained under cover. 

Could Blockchain have solved it?  Well the answer is yes and no. Blockchain definitely has much higher security capability built-in. The basic concept underlying Blockchain, is Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT. So the master data is maintained in every node of the distributed ledger and hence there is no dependence on a single source of truth. While today the banks CBS is the single source of truth for the bank, in a Distributed Ledger framework, each node would contain the same truth. So tampering one node would not be possible and would immediately bring to light any kind of malpractice. So technically speaking Blockchain technology does have security mechanisms to deal with these frauds. However the success of this would depend on how distributed the ledgers are and how big the chains are.

Anytime there is a gap or a break between the chains, or two or more chains are not integrated, demanding a human intervention, mistakes or fraud are likely to happen. So whether or not Blockchain technology could have stopped the PNB fraud, would depend on how integrated the Blockchain was. So even in a Blockchain scenario if the Bank and the SWIFT payment gateway were not connected by a single chain or two integrated chains and had it required a manual intervention, the problem couldn’t have been avoided inspite of Blockchain technology. So Blockchain technology alone, is not an answer to avoiding such problem, intentional or not.  The most critical requirement is for all stakeholders to be part of the Blockchain, with no breakage in the chain.

There are a few other necessary conditions to the success of Blockchain as well

  1. All Manual contracts of today will have to be converted into smart contracts to run some automated checks on them, whenever there is any transaction involving a contract.
  2. Since the security will be so much dependent on the technology itself, technology audits will have to become much more stringent and pervasive
  3. Finally in order for all stakeholders, no matter which industry they belong to, need to come together as part of the same or connected Blockchain, there needs to be common processes and protocols accepted and agreed on by regulators of all industries. Hence the Regulators need to come together to ensure the same.

So bottom line is no technology can eradicate fraud. People are much smarter than computers, being the inventors of all technology.  And people with mal-intent will be there. So while Blockchain has the technology built-in to improve security, it is definitely not the answer to all fraud.

About the author

Mohua Sengupta is the EVP & Global Head at Services at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about her can be found here