The competition, which has a submission deadline in July next, will allow tech enthusiasts add to crypto innovation in India.
India is looking to launch a new web browser that allows people to digitally sign documents using crypto tokens. According to an official press release, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge (IWBDC) to build the app.
The press release explains that the IWBDC is an open competition to inspire tech enthusiasts, developers, and innovators looking to build the browser. The announcement also expects that the browser would come equipped with tight security and data privacy protection.
“Proposed browser would also focus on accessibility and user-friendliness, ensuring built-in support for individuals with diverse abilities. Moreover, the browser envisions the ability to digitally sign documents using a crypto token, bolstering secure transactions and digital interactions,” reads the announcement.
The browser is expected to fully support Web3 and similar functionalities. The MeitY has also announced a $400,000 prize for the winner and has set the submission deadline for July 1, 2024.
Crypto in India
India has tried repeatedly to ban cryptocurrency in the country but has not had much success. While there is no direct ban on cryptocurrencies in India, the unregulated nature suggests that authorities oppose the widespread adoption of digital assets in the Southeast Asian country. There are also no official guidelines for using crypto and no government-backed recourse for problems arising from crypto investment and related issues.
Last year, India launched the Digital Rupee, a crypto version of its national currency, after initially proposing the asset in 2017. Now, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is hoping that the Digital Rupee would help significantly with cross-border transactions.
The RBI has engaged nearly 20 central banks all over the world, seeking ways through which the central bank digital currency (CBDC) will support cross-border payments. According to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, India is a vibrant market for trade and receives a large number of cross-border payments from citizens working in other countries. However, there have been setbacks.
Das explains that access to the United States dollar is an increasingly difficult problem for traders in most countries looking to import goods. He states that while India has no shortage of dollars, many other countries have these problems and are affected by the scarcity.
The RBI Governor explains there is a market for the Digital Rupee as a tool for cross-border payments since many popular options have seen reduced patronage because of the increased adoption of Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. Using the Digital Rupee, the RBI Governor assures that cross-border transactions and payments will be cheaper, easier, and much faster. India hopes to counter the dependence on USD and make the Digital Rupee the preferred cross-border payment option instead of Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Last month, Goldman Sachs said India would become the world’s second-largest economy by 2075. The firm states India will overtake large economies like Germany, China, and Japan.
Goldman’s India economist Santanu Sengupta also added that India’s dependency ratio would become one of the lowest sometime in the next 20 years. A dependency ratio compares the number of a country’s working population with its dependent sector.