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In India, Dialing Up Blockchain Via Telecom

In India, telecom Reliance Jio is eyeing the installation of the world’s largest blockchain network, which would span hundreds of millions of customers. Separately, blockchain takes flight (in a way), Amazon mulls blockchain for advertising, and in the UK, government agencies may adopt distributed ledger technology for more efficient payments.

Blockchain efforts — on a large scale — got a boost this week when Reliance Jio, the India-based mobile network operator, said it would set up one of the largest blockchain networks in the world.

The Economic Times of India reported that the initiative would also include a pan-India Edge computing and content distribution network.

The site said Jio’s actions would help deliver automation and security to transactions and for modernizing supply chains.

As reported by CoinTelegraph, the blockchain network promoted by the telecom, which has 330 million customers, would have tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one.

Chairman and Managing Director Shri Mukesh D. Ambani said that blockchain technology is among the three main areas of tech-focused expansion for Jio. As reported, cryptos have been eyed warily by India’s government, while blockchain has been embraced.

“Using blockchain, we also have an opportunity to invent a brand new model for data privacy, where Indian data, especially customer data, is owned and controlled by the Indian people and not by corporates — especially global corporations,” said the executive.

Blockchain, Taking Flight (Literally)?

To that end, in Russia, S7 Airlines said this past week that its blockchain platform, developed in partnership with Alfa Bank, had sold $1 million in tickets last month. The blockchain platform traces its genesis back two years. In a statement, Ekaterina Dmitrruk, S7 Group sales director, said in a press release that “thanks to this new technology, now it’s easier for our agents to work directly with the airline, which allowed us to expand our own S7 Airlines sales network. Within this year, we are planning to deploy first online agents, whose work would comply with the NDC standard, on the platform.”

The firm has said the number of transactions made across the platform grew tenfold since January of this year. Last year S7 became the first airline in that country to refuel aircraft through the use of smart contracts across a blockchain platform. In that instance, debiting transactions and transferring documents took only seconds to complete.

Amazon, Too

Not to be outdone, reports noted eCommerce giant Amazon might be looking to bring advertising to the blockchain. As reported, the company posted a job opening seeking a software development engineer to work within Amazon’s Advertising FinTech team to focus on a blockchain ledger, billing and reconciliation system.

According to the posting, “this is an opportunity to define a technology architectural direction of a greenfield area for Amazon’s advertising business using Blockchain technology.”

Separately, in the United Kingdom, the pension and welfare agency is reportedly looking to blockchain and distributed ledger technology to aid payments.

As noted earlier this month, Richard Laycock, director of digital payments and banking systems at the Department of Work and Pensions said that the agency is monitoring blockchain as a “disruptor” to payments.

“We are starting to see the first full production implementations, such as Santander’s One Pay FX. The benefits include reducing time, cost and failure rate associated with making transactions whilst data is stored on a secure, immutable ledger,” he noted in a post.

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