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Is India Ready For Web 3.0 Adoption?

07 Sep 2022 By : Sudeep Saxena
Southeast Asia’s Lar

The emergence of Web 3.0's revolutionary power has generated excitement in the corporate investment and technology sectors. It represents the upcoming Internet generation, and there is a lot of interest in it among developers and investors all over the world. But, Web 3.0  is based on the concept of decentralization and crypto-economy which is controversial with the Indian government.

Blockchain technology has yet to become widely used in India since standards and protocols must be created. It will require time and expenditures on technology advancements to achieve scalability since decentralization is still an innovation. 

Web Transition and India

The first version of the Internet, Web 1.0, offered little room for user interaction. The site was static, mostly just readable, and took a long time to load. We currently use web 2.0, which introduced the idea of social media with user-generated content.

Web 3.0  is the third generation of web technology evolution. Although, there isn't a single, recognized definition of Web 3.0 since it is continually changing and being defined. However, it is clear that Web 3.0 will heavily emphasize decentralized apps and utilize blockchain-based technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will both be used in Web 3.0 to provide smarter, more adaptable applications.

The idea is that cryptocurrencies can be used to build an entirely new network instead of only exchanging or delivering money. It's a potential future iteration of the internet that is based on public blockchains. 

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 of the Internet were platforms driven by the western world. These entities have influenced societal narratives for many years. We missed the opportunity to lead the Internet economy over those three decades as an economy because we continued to be a service provider to clients throughout the world.

As the globe is transitioning to Web 3.0, there is doubt on whether the nation will lead because of its potential or likely fall behind with its existing regulatory strategy and taxes.

India’s potential 

India is the second-largest internet user in the world, with almost 60-70 percent of its population using it. One of the best things about the nation is that many people start businesses, make things, and come up with new methods to make them better. India has one of the fastest-growing online markets in the world despite being a developing nation.

According to a recent report, the cryptocurrency sector in India is growing at fastest pace worldwide. In recent years, it has developed significantly faster than several other countries, outpacing them in terms of growth. If it continues in this route, experts forecast that India will play a significant role in the future of cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0.

Web 3.0 can help India become a more digital economy because of all the advantages that digital technologies offer to everyone. Web 3.0 is luring company owners looking to launch a venture in India. India is well-positioned to dominate Web 3.0 and Blockchain because of its strong IT expertise, digitally aware customers, and support from the government. India is seen as a serious contender to become the next global leader because of its thriving start-up environment.

Additionally, it is thought that by utilizing the opportunities offered by the semantic web, which the rest of the world is keen to explore, India might significantly change its revenue return. If the right rules and regulations are in place, Web 3.0 in India is predicted to enhance people's lives while creating more opportunities for employment and a prosperous economy.

One of the most noteworthy examples of an Indian Web 3.0 company building toward the international market polygon (MATIC), which is supported by Sequoia Capital. It is a layer-two scaling option for the Ethereum blockchain that tackles several limitations.

Building a cryptocurrency framework

The Indian government undoubtedly made the first step toward accepting the crypto and blockchain sectors in India by taxing transactions involving digital assets. But, India's crypto ecosystem faced further difficulties with the enforcement of heavy taxation on transactions. According to a report from CoinGabbar - Crypto tax discourages 83 percent of Indian investors from trading crypto, which states that after the implementation of the 30% tax and 1% TDS on Trading Cryptocurrencies, trading volumes on Indian cryptocurrency exchanges eventually decreased by 90%.

While the discussion on cryptocurrency policy has been ongoing, we have experimented with all potential discourses without success. Although we have said that neither the blockchain nor Web 3.0  technologies would be banned, we are concerned about the crypto coin's potential effects or limitations. RBI has also started work on introducing the Digital Rupee, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will be an electronic equivalent of India's fiat currency.

However, the government's decision-making process on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the Indian market has been particularly slow. There is a lot of confusion going on, ask several stakeholders, and you'll get many different answers.

Recently,India disbanded the Council for Blockchain and Crypto Assets the only body that represents India's local cryptocurrency sector, led by the developers of the crypto unicorns Ashish Singhal of Coinswitch Kuber and Sumit Gupta of CoinDCX.

Sandeep Nailwal, who co-founded Polygon in 2017 and moved to Dubai two years ago, claimed that India is seeing a brain drain in the cryptocurrency industry since its policies are still unclear. He has said that the inclusion of members from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), GST Council, and the federal finance ministry should be part of a newly formed body tasked with monitoring and framing the cryptocurrency ecosystem in India.

Will India Miss This opportunity?

India has a lot of promise because of the expanding number of entrepreneurs engaged in Web 3.0 initiatives. Unfortunately, due to unclear regulations and conflicting governmental signals, Web 3.0 entrepreneurs in India have been relocating their bases to Singapore or Dubai to launch their businesses, and these nations are becoming a hub for Web 3.0 startups and businesses.

Policymakers haven't yet indicated a clear interest in what Web 3.0 can yield. The typical responses are systemic problems that might arise, fraud, the unsustainable energy use of Web 3.0, and other things that legislators don't want technology to achieve. It is appropriate to pose these queries. These sentiments are identical to how the governments of the time would have felt about each disruption brought on by the earlier industrial revolutions, including the introduction of steam engine locomotives, automobiles, power looms, computer power, and many more.

However, India cannot hold back or avoid modern technologies because some people could misuse them, even though there are many great applications for them. We must have a vision for what we want from and with technology if we are to be a relevant and technologically powerful nation. India can't afford to miss this opportunity.

As we don't want Web 3.0 to become the next exodus movement for Indian talent looking for a better regulatory and entrepreneurial atmosphere overseas, similar to how we witnessed the Indian brain drain in the 1970s and 1980s for higher employability and recognition for expertise.

What is the way forward?

It is extremely beneficial to concentrate on developing massive computing power, smart embedded devices, data, and AI/ML technologies. along with clarity in policy and regulations regarding cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0. Most of the engineers are well-versed in both traditional programming and emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, IoT, and VR/AR. They will be well-positioned to hold important occupations in the flourishing Web 3.0 economy throughout the world.

India has to take the lead in establishing a global Web 3.0 policy. Indian entrepreneurs need clarity on what can be built and what cannot. In addition, the developers of Web 3.0 and cryptocurrency firms should be shielded from any unnecessary regulatory or law enforcement action related to the ethical usage of cryptocurrencies.

Technological innovation and mainstream policy adoption are required to accelerate social change and economic progress. Can India take the initiative to promote the utility of Web 3.0 concepts and perhaps establish the benchmarks that define the upcoming generation of global technology?

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