Panaji: With digitisation transforming the financial services sector in terms of speeding up transactions and fraud detection, the Blockchain technology holds enormous promise of further strengthening the sector, a top official with The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) has emphasised.
"The NSE is experimenting with Blockchain technology,a NSE CTO Sankarson Banerjee told IANS on the sidelines of the fifth Cisco India Summit here.
The Blockchain technology is based on distributed storage of data. A Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records -- called blocks -- which are linked and secured using cryptography.
"Blockchain, we know, is the best way to create immutable record of things. That opens up a lot of use cases for asset verification - who owns the asset, where it comes from, things like that - or tracing the transaction of an asset," Banerjee noted.
"The second advantage of Blockchain is that it helps avoid double spend. It allows for unique non-repeatable transaction," he added.
Blockchain can make things highly distributed and resilient in ways that traditional data storage technologies cannot, Banerjee said, adding that in Blockchain, one can distribute a record to thousands of people and yet everybody can be sure that nobody can fake that record.
"Blockchain is genuinely a different way of doing things. Today, the asset is held in physical form and digital records of it are transacted," he stressed, making the point that Blockchain technology should be credited for creating genuine digital asset for the first time.
"While cryptocurrency is a used case of Blockchain, it should not be confused with the technology itself, just as pornographic content, which can be accessed on the Internet, must not be confused with Internet itself," Banerjee told IANS.
The NSE CTO, however, cautioned that it would be foolish to expect that technology could altogether wipe out the chances of fraudulent transaction because hackers do not always target the hard technology part.
"They instead often exploit the vulnerability of the common people and trick them into revealing crucial information," he said.
"Blockhain can be truly transformative for exchanges, paving the way for them to get into very different businesses. We could start selling cars. We are not selling cars but we might," Banerjee added, in a lighter vein.
While Blockchain still remains at an experimental stage at the NSE, what it has done to increase efficiency includes integration of latest solutions from the global networking giant Cisco for enhanced customer service, process automation, analytics and cybersecurity.
In line with its commitment to digitise the financial services sector in India, Cisco has developed a "Digital Transformation Blueprint" for the banking and financial services sector.
The blueprint leverages the power of Cisco's intent-based networking portfolio to integrate connectivity, security, automation, collaboration, and analytics across the business value chain.
As part of its collaboration with NSE, Cisco has automated NSE's data centre, helping it reduce app deployment time from weeks to hours.
The exchange is also leveraging Cisco's "AppDynamics" platform to monitor the performance of core applications and get real-time analytics for business performance to deliver superior end-user experience.
"With 'AppDynamics', NSE will have complete visibility spanning from the infrastructure to application to end user, thereby offering a superior end-user experience," said Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and Saarc.
"Institutions that are quick to embrace innovation and adopt new technologies will have immense opportunities to improve the way they deliver services," added Banerjee.
The NSE, which was the first exchange in India to implement electronic or screen-based trading, emerged as the fourth largest stock exchanges in the world by numbers of trades in equity shares in 2017, according to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) report.
(Gokul Bhagabati attended the summit at the invitation of Cisco. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)