Category Archives: Bengaluru

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Local Indian Administrators Bid to Clean Up Bangalore Using Blockchain

Local Indian Administrators Bid to Clean Up Bangalore Using Blockchain

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) the local administrative body in the Indian city of Bangalore is to pilot a blockchain solution to combat garbage problems in the city.

Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million, making it a megacity and the third most populous city and fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India.

India’s Silicon Valley continues to pay a huge price for its multinational IT success, becoming a city overflowing with uncollected waste after years of unchecked growth. The BBMP has decided it is finally time to take action, by employing the technology that Bengaluru has become globally renown for in order to address the worsening rubbish accumulation.

The pilot will be funded by non-profit Citizen Involved & Technology Assisted Governance (CITAG) with the assistance of funding from a Harvard University fellowship. BBMP Special Commissioner Randeep D spoke of the project, explaining:

“Blockchain technology will make it tamper-proof. So all players on the platform can see actions that have been taken regarding a complaint. There is a lot of data integrity and transparency involved in having such a blockchain-based helpline. Different stages of the redressal will be visible to everybody.”

GR Chandran, the co-founder of CITAG, said the pilot is expected to be underway by June of this year and expects the complaints procedure will now indicate who is handling the issue concerning garbage removal along with a resolution date, which if not met, will be raised further with the BBMP. A ratings/review system will be put in place so that requests for collection can be reviewed by complainants.

 

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New Startup Pushes Personal Finance Into the Hands of Indian Women

New Startup Pushes Personal Finance Into the Hands of Indian Women

Basis, a Bengaluru-based fintech startup, is hoping to change the look of personal finance for Indian women.

In the USA and other developed countries, up to 50% of adults make investments, and half of these are women. In India, this is not the case, with a mere 3% of Indians investing in the stock market, with figures showing that almost none of these are women. A graduate from the Wharton School in the US has decided to do something about the sorry statistics.

Hena Mehta worked on Wall Street before moving back to India to work at enterprise universal payments solutions Ezetap in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India’s third most populated city and hi-tech hub. Her new project is Basis, an online women-focused personal finance startup. Mehta explained:

“The idea was born out of my own pain point: I realized I wasn’t owning my personal finance and investing decisions, even though I have a prestigious MBA and worked in financial services.”

Her new company has recently benefited from an undisclosed amount of seed funding from India/US-based investors Nitin Saigal, Daniel Jacobs and Dahm Choi, having been successful in receiving a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) license recently on 25 February.

Mehta wants to transform financial education and financial decision-making for Indian women in the country empowering them to take more control of their financial futures. She commented:

“In the next few years, we expect to be a full-service personal finance platform serving the financial needs of first-time investors, particularly the Indian women.”

Last year, it was reported that Indian women were investing more in cryptocurrency than men.

 

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First Bitcoin ATM Appears in India Despite Central Bank Crackdown

Despite the central bank’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin in India, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM has been established in Bengaluru’s Kemp Fort Mall.

The ATM is for the exclusive use of local crypto exchange Unocoin’s clients, allowing users to deposit cash or withdraw money for future use on Unocoin’s website or smart device application.

The machines offer a way of circumventing the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) cryptocurrency crackdown, as Unocoin say they do not involve the country’s banking system in any way, hence do not fall under the jurisdiction of the central bank. While Unocoin accepts that standard Bitcoin ATM’s would be banned in the country under RBI guidelines, it believes that because they do not offer banking services technically speaking, its ATMs are exempt.

Some of the harsh restrictions that RBI has established include a prohibition of business relationships between lenders and digital currency exchanges and traders, leading to a decline in trading volumes, local cryptocurrency businesses suffering financially, and a general backlash from the whole, suffering industry in India.

Differing slightly from Bitcoin ATMs seen outside the country, Unocoin hopes to fill the vacuum left by banks retreating from offering crypto businesses and investors financial services. With each user given unique access keys to their account, they cannot purchase assets directly from the machine but need to access the website or app to complete the transaction. Its predominant use is to allow users to deposit their cash for later use on the site.

Right now, the machine can accept cash deposits between INR 1,000 and INR 10,000.

Two more ATMs from Unocoin are scheduled for launch in Mumbai and New Delhi later this week, adding to an overall estimated total of 3,879 cryptocurrency ATMs operating in 76 countries.

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