Hyderabad, India-based Zebi Data India Pvt Ltd, or Zebi, is positioning their blockchain-based solution to protect India’s exponentially growing data. As part of their solution, they are also launching their cryptocurrency ZCO.
India, a country of 1.25 billion people, and at least 1 billion of them have some form of digital identity now, thanks partly to the country’s biometrics technology based unique identity called AADHAR (literally meaning “Foundation”). There is exponential growth in creation of data by this vast population, through various Internet-based applications such as social media, and growing smartphone penetration in the country. It is estimated that by 2021, India will produce 3 Zebibytes of data per year, which equals to 3 trillion Gigabytes of data per year! Such volume of data can be an asset to the country, whereas lack of protection of this data can give rise to cyber crimes too. Add to this the massive anti-corruption drive that the incumbent Government of India (GoI) has undertaken over the last three-and-half years, and the fact that one after the other state governments are joining in this all-out war against corruption. Managing data of massive proportion in a transparent and secure way was never so important for India, as it is now, in the history of the country.
Zebi has come up with a solution for this, aided by blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized system, where every computer on the network, also called ‘node’, maintains a shared, audit-trail enabled, and immutable version of truth in a distributed database. Every node has equal point of authority, and blockchain is governed not by a central point of authority, but by ‘smart contracts’, i.e. pieces of code that allow stakeholders to perform legally recognized actions such as taking control of an entity or piece of information. Consensus mechanism ensures that only transactions approved by majority stakeholders on the network are approved and get recorded on the blockchain. Depending on the nature of consensus algorithm, the constituents of the majority may vary. For e.g. in a proof of work (POW) based consensus algorithm majority of all participating nodes have to validate a transaction, whereas in a proof of stake based algorithm majority of stakeholders that stake their crypto tokens for transaction validation purpose have to agree that the transaction is valid.
Zebi Chain, the solution Zebi is launching to manage India’s massive data, can be summarized as following:
- The built-in-house communication layer of Zebi Chain is integrated with the Ethereum blockchain, governed by smart contracts.
- The high-value and sensitive data is stored on this, tamper-proof. The blockchain has reliable infrastructure, and is fast.
- All requests to access data must pass through Zebi Data Gateway, and smart contracts will ensure that the data request is valid, and has the necessary consent per legal requirements. The blockchain consensus mechanism will ensure that fraudulent and unauthorized data requests are not entertained, thereby securing sensitive data.
- Zebi Chain has based their cryptocurrency token ZCO on ERC20 standard of Ethereum blockchain. ZCO will be used to pay for all Zebi Chain services.
- Zebi Chain uses DaaS (Data as a Service) application programming interfaces (APIs), which will also enable Zebi to position Zebi Chain as a platform in the future, around which others can build services and apps.
Zebi is now focusing on land records, employee and salary records, pension payments, educational certificates, other education records, and healthcare records. However, the system is generic in nature and can manage other kind of records too. Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), an organization within the government of the southern Indian state Andhra Pradesh, has already selected Zebi Chain to manage their land records.
Babu Munagala is the founder, Managing Director and CEO of Zebi. The company has many blockchain subject matter experts (SMEs) who have proven their mettle in the high technology industry. Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for their ZCO token will be held in March 2018, with an objective of raising US $ 10 million. An interesting aside is Zebi‘s reading of the stance taken by the Government of India (GoI), which has embraced blockchain, but has also made it clear that they don’t consider cryptocurrencies as legal tenders. Zebi has studied the announcement made on the floor of the national parliament by the finance minister of India, Mr. Arun Jaitley, and they believe that GoI‘s main focus is stopping the funding of illegal activities with cryptocurrencies, and the GoI is thinking of regulating cryptocurrencies instead of banning them completely. Zebi‘s plans will be contingent on the stance finally taken by the GoI.