India is gradually but continuously advancing blockchain and Web3 exploration. While the country is still working on rules for cryptocurrencies and experimenting with its eRupee CBDC, India’s IT ministry has a new plan to launch a homegrown web browser. This Indian web browser will be equipped with Web3 capabilities. The idea is to incorporate elements of the blockchain into this browser, making the platform ready to handle the next iteration of the internet and its use cases.
India’s IT Ministry this week launched a competition called the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge. There will be three rounds, and at the end of the third round, the winner will receive $410,685 (approximately Rs. 340 crore).
Officials from India’s IT Ministry, including Minister Alkesh Kumar Sharma, announced the contest on Aug. 9.
The purpose of the competition is for Indian developers to create a home-grown web browser for India, hoping to reduce our reliance on established foreign browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.
Indians will soon be able to digitally sign documents using cryptographic tokens as part of the advanced features the browser is expected to gain. Officials have not disclosed details about this feature yet.
While India currently only allows the trading and holding of cryptocurrencies; its plan to embed encryption technology into native web browsers seems to be a positive sign for the country’s Web3 industry. Members of the Indian cryptocurrency industry have repeatedly stressed that the country’s engineering talent and general technical proficiency could make it a hub for Web3 projects.
In an interview with Gadgets 360 earlier this month, Bharat Web3 Association also stated that Indians are being drawn to explore the decentralized finance (DeFi) space powered by blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
By December this year, India may introduce a set of encryption laws that can be enforced globally. As the current chair of the G20 group, India is working closely with other countries and international financial institutions to draft detailed rules to regulate the volatile digital asset industry.
Global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) are involved in India’s legal framework for cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, native web browsers will also offer built-in “diverse accessibility” support for people with disabilities, officials say.
This follows the approval of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 by both houses of the Indian Parliament earlier this week.
The bill, which comes six years after the Supreme Court declared “privacy” a fundamental right, sets out provisions to curb the misuse of personal data by online platforms.
According to Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the law will give Indians the right to have their data corrected. It also sets a schedule for the duration of any data stored with the entity. The law is expected to take effect within ten months.