One of the world’s richest men, Mukesh Ambani, based in India’s financial capital, is ready to explore the Web3 space. The 66-year-old Indian billionaire revealed his Web3-related plans at Reliance Industries (RIL)’s 46th annual general meeting on Monday. While the Reliance CEO is currently aiming to distance himself from highly volatile crypto assets, he does plan to explore the blockchain and centralized digital currency space — including the eRupee CBDC — which is currently undergoing advanced trials in India.

Ambani’s Jio Financial Services (JFS) will be the brand’s entry point into the Web3 space. JFS, the financial investment arm of Reliance Industries, was originally called Reliance Strategy Investments and changed its name in July this year. RIL will provide digital asset management services through JFS. As part of its program, JFS has entered into a partnership with BlackRock, one of the world’s largest providers of investment services, hold assets As of August 18, it was worth $100.07 billion.

“JFS will consolidate its payment infrastructure to further drive digital adoption in India. JFS products will explore breakthrough capabilities such as blockchain-based platforms and CBDC,” said Ambani pointed out on Monday.

blockchain

Blockchain is the underlying distributed ledger technology that underpins all elements of Web3, including cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, CBDCs, and the Metaverse. Blockchain-based protocols can be automated and decentralized, which can eliminate the need for any middlemen or intermediaries to facilitate financial transactions.

Additionally, information stored on the blockchain is divided into small packets and spread across the network, making it more resistant to malicious alteration and destruction than traditional servers.

States such as Maharashtra and Telangana are already harnessing the power of blockchain to fine-tune their healthcare and agricultural programs.

CBDC

A central bank digital currency, or CBDC, is a virtual representation of any fiat currency backed by a blockchain network. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is also working on launching its own CBDC in India.

CBDCs function like cryptocurrencies, but they are regulated and issued by central banks. A CBDC would not only simplify the online payment system but also reduce reliance on cash notes, which could be cost-effective for the RBI.

India’s CBDC, dubbed eRupee, is already in an advanced trial phase, involving several large state-owned and private lenders, as well as select small, medium and large merchants.

Reliance Connect

Ambani RIL owns and operates businesses including Jio’s internet services, grocery stores and petrol stations, among others. RIL’s foray into blockchain and eRupee may expose many Indians to these new-age technologies in the coming months.

In April, Reliance General Insurance said it had begun accepting eRupee CBDC for premium payments.

Earlier in February, Reliance Retail also announced that it would begin using the Indian digital rupee CBDC at its stores in Mumbai. At the time, Reliance Retail managing director V Subramaniam said he believed a CBDC would be “better than the UPI system.”


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