Several major Indian corporates and banks are reportedly exploring the use cases and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
The Economic Times (ET) reported that Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, and ABG Shipyard are among those running crypto and blockchain pilots for internal treasury management, record keeping and trade finance functions.
“The cryptocurrency would only be used by the companies and banks internally,” a source familiar with the matter told ET. “It will mainly be effective as a working capital management tool, where rather than actually transferring money, cryptocurrency will be transferred and accounts shall be reconciled at a later date.”
Hindustan Unilever did not confirm the the report, but it said that the company is constantly looking to bolster its digital capabilities.
“In line with our vision of ‘re-imagining HUL,’ we are constantly looking to augment digital capabilities in our business,” Hindustan Unilever said. “We are currently working on a number of experimentation projects across our value chain which will propel us into the future and redefine the landscape in which we operate.”
Since the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect in July 2018, Indian crypto exchanges have been deprived of banking services. Many of these exchanges subsequently shut down their INR support, disallowing users to make deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees.
Industry experts believe the RBI ban may not prove to be a challenge as Indian corporates and banks are limiting such currency to internal usage.
“Many banks and consortiums like BIC (Blockchain Investors Consortium) have also tried to bring in blockchain technology in the trade finance area and results are positive especially around ecosystems like buyer-supplier or logistics,” said Vivek Belgavi, partner and FinTech leader, PwC India. “The concern for the regulators is the speculation that was happening in bitcoin or the other cryptocurrency. There is no problem with using the underlying blockchain technology.”
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