Blockchain and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

You might have missed the Second and Third and none of us were around for the First, but the World Economic Forum is currently focusing its considerable energies and resources into preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and it has placed India front and centre in its plans. The forum’s Policy Groups are currently working to establish a new governance framework that will enable Blockchain and non-Blockchain platforms to interact more effectively with one another, and that’s by no means as dry and desiccated a concept as it might seem. This initiative has real potential to change the way we all do business in the future.

And here’s why…

Whatever their stripe, it’s a given that every business all over the world will seek stability and predictability in its operational planning: that’s one of the reasons Brexit is on your breakfast table every morning (because it is neither stable or predictable) and its why Governments work so hard to deliver an environment of legal, regulatory and administrative certainty as part of their geopolitical mix. Laws have to be clear and workable, Courts have to be quick and consistent in enforcing them and Public Administration needs to be transparent and, above all, beyond reproach.

Sadly India has been historically slow to address that critical triumvirate, with court cases sometimes taking more than 50 years to resolve and rumours of bribery rife from shore to shore, but all of that has radically changed over the last decade: the Modi Administration has slashed red tape, introduced new (statutory) adjudication procedures to shorten resolution times in construction disputes and significantly pushed back the black economy with its demonetisation legislation.

The work of the World Economic Forum now tells us that the next step in this process will be Blockchain based Smart Contracts that will effectively eliminate the possibility of delay and improper inducement because there will be no physical steps to take and no intermediary to induce; no single individual or entity will have control over the central register at all in a Blockchain environment. And so far as regulatory and legal compliance goes, it’s simply impossible to be non compliant on either count because Smart Contracts build full conformity into the contract’s DNA.

Take a simple example: I want to sell my house in Delhi to my cousin (don’t worry, I got a good price and it’s falling down anyway). In the old days I would need a lawyer to transfer the title and my cousin would need one to check it out for defects; I would also need confirmation from his bank that he has sufficient funds and we would both need to deal with a battalion of revenue officials eager (but not necessarily quick) to make sure land duties and taxes are paid on the transaction. But with a Smart Contract, all of that is done automatically: Blockchain technology instantly scans the Registry to confirm I own the house, it engages automatically with my cousin’s bank to make sure he has the money and then automatically initiates payment of the purchase price to me having automatically deducts all duties and taxes, paying them directly to the State and local authorities before transferring the title and updating the Registry. All of that happens in the blink of an eye, as soon as we have signed on the dotted line (electronically, of course).

And that’s what’s meant by self-execution: it’s why Blockchain based Smart Contracts will be so revolutionary for the future of international commerce. They will deliver the legal and regulatory certainty the commercial community demands and India is leading the way to make sure it gets exactly what it wants by way of both, with innovative and creative Blockchain technologies.

Good things really do come in fours…

North Block Capital Fund is structured specifically to make the most of the exciting opportunities India has to offer, launching in Blockchain DLT and Crypto Currencies. It draws specifically on the company’s unparalleled expertise in the subcontinent’s markets because when it comes to India, nobody understands those markets better than Red Ribbon.

 Invest in North Block Capital Fund

North Block Capital Fund is structured specifically to make the most of the exciting opportunities India has to offer, launching in Blockchain DLT and Crypto Currencies. It draws specifically on the company’s unparalleled expertise in the subcontinent’s markets because when it comes to India, nobody understands those markets better than Red Ribbon.

Executive Overview

I have been convinced for some time of Blockchain’s potential to change the way we all do business but (as explained by the World Economic Forum’s working paper) the capacity of the technology also to regularise compliance and enhance contractual certainty is yet another of its virtues.

And as I businessman myself, I couldn’t agree more with the article when it says certainly and predictability are at the very heart of all commercial decision-making. India hasn’t in the past always been good at delivering on either, but it has made huge strides on both over the past decade and investors on the subcontinent can now be sure of a compliant and stable environment. Blockchain, and Smart Contract technologies will further enhance that assurance and that can only be a good thing.