India’s largest bank is spearheading a newly unveiled consortium focused on blockchain applications.
According to local news outlets, the State Bank of India – which Fortune says held nearly $450bn in assets as of last year – is partnering with several technology firms and a group of domestic commercial banks on a new initiative dubbed ‘Bankchain’.
IBM and Microsoft will reportedly be providing technical assistance for the group as it explores ways to leverage blockchain to reduce fraud and improve operational efficiency.
IBM has previously announced partnerships with Indian companies focused on blockchain development. Primechain Technologies, a blockchain startup based in Mumbai, is also said to be working on the Bankchain project.
Other institutions said to be part of the project or interested in joining include Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank – all institutions that have experimented with the tech in the past, including a recent trial focused on know-your-customer (KYC) applications in which India’s biggest stock exchange was involved.
M Mahapatra, a representative for the State Bank, told The Economic Times:
“Being the largest bank, SBI has taken the lead in initiating blockchain, and we are in talks with banks and other companies for this.”