Published:  02:33 PM, 11 January 2020

Blockchain for Digital Bangladesh

Blockchain for Digital Bangladesh

The history of blockchain evolves in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto than gets dimension in different times and today it becomes the most strongest, efficient and competitive technology in the world. Earlier it was limited in crypto currency thinking but today in all aspects of life we can use it as competitive weapons from business to government to its citizen to provide the mass services in a clear and transparent way.

Nowadays blockchain is used in banking, business, service sector, education, port and shipping management, security and capital market, bond issuance, LC issue, supply chain, training workshop, certification issue, AI, national payment system, insurance payouts, ticketing system of air lines, global money transferring , logistics operation, government procurement, digital governance,

land registration, B2B payment method, shipment tracking in international trade, public service management, SME loan management , financial inclusion,agricultural development, precious metal trade, port-shipping and freight management, national data base management, audit firm and auditing, consumer goods trading management, data management, refugee management, digital payment, traveler management in airport, foreign exchange of banks, carbon trading, eco-tourism etc.

The most interesting matter is that North Korea preparing blockchain based crypto currency as a weapons of "digital attack" termed as "crypto attack" against her foes. So it becomes weapons too in digital ages. But still Bangladesh is not aware about it.Where Bangladesh Govt. or private sector can use it

By using blockchain Import and export of our country can be monitored, check physical shipment and journey location to avoid false shipment and Trade based Money laundering. Capabilities around transparency and consensus will help mitigate the ever-present risk of documentary fraud and hopefully reduce the cost of transaction reconciliation between and within banks. The traceability associated with blockchain could potentially provide assurance and authenticity of products in the supply chain.

The immutability and digital uniqueness inherent in this technology also offers the potential to provide a secure transfer of value and deliver a solution to the trade finance problem of endorsement. Using blockchain technology can help streamline the manual processing of import/export documentation, improve security by reducing errors, make companies' working capital more predictable and increase convenience for all parties through mobile interaction and trade based money laundering can be stopped.

All school, College and universities of the country can issue digital certificate which will be stored in blockchain will definitely reduce the printing time, cost and fake certification issue of the institutes enormously. We can use the example of Digital Gurukul, educational institute in Madhya Pradesh of India unveiled diploma certificate will be stored in blockchain.

Capital market is a curse in Bangladesh. Using blockchain in our capital market can protect investor's interest by improving information access, book keeping system, organized financial data, fundraising, asset management, margin financing, tracking securities lending and monitoring systematic risk also faster the trade settlement by removing intermediaries.

Like Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has implemented blockchain based bond and security dealing which gives easier access to investors in capital market, while lowering cost and enhancing efficiency.

Myanmar also declares to adopt blockchain to run national stock exchange. A Singapore unit of Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings Inc (TO91) has invested US$5 Million in iSTOX - a blockchain based platform for issuance, custody and trading of digital securities.

Our insurance sector is characterized by nonpayment of insured money to beneficiaries at maturity or after meeting the conditions in case of accident and fire insurance. Blockchain can bring this problem to an end which will increase the confidence of the customer and market of this sector like The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revealed that it might adopt a blockchain powered registry platform that will manage disaster insurance payouts. Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Bangladesh Railway both are structured loss project of the government due to corruption, mismanagement in ticketing and revenue collection.

Using Blockchain in both organization the corruption of the authority can be reduced, easier and transparent ticketing increase govern revenue by reducing the corruption and the revenue can be reinvested for the modernization of Air and Railway of Bangladesh instead of subsidized sector it can be a revenue generating sector. Like German based Hahn Air Lines GmbH has planned to use blockchain for its ticketing system.

Present money transfer services besides banks are still in poor. Money service did not cover the mass and out of Money Laundering control. But money transfer in blockchain can be efficient, real time and can protect laundered money movement across the country's economy which has the real time connection with national database. We can follow A Japanese company and a Vietnamese bank has teamed up to develop money transfer and remittance services based on blockchain.

Our C & F agents, Transport companies, even the large distributor channels can use the blockchain to verifying transactions, shipments and payments in time which will reduce the transporting cost of goods and services and ultimately helps to reduce the price label and inflation of commodities what the government's motto to achieve in Macro economy.

Example a Mitsubishi owned Japanese Company, Cermaq Global has adopted blockchain to track salmon in its supply chain which will allow consumers to check the origin of the fish with a QR code. International logistics provider UPS shipped beef from the US to Japan and using blockchain to monitor the shipment.

We can follow too Walmart Canada developed blockchain to facilitate logistics operation, from tracking shipments and verifying transections to handling payments.Coca - Cola Company bottlers in North America have implemented blockchain technology for its supply chain using SAP's solution successfully can be a learning case.

Bangladesh govt can also use the blockchain as base of public procurement to makes it transparent real time and cost effective to stop abuse of public money and for sustainable development of the country. Public services one by one should be carried out by blockchain to enhance digital governance and by increasing easy access to service of mass people by ensuring transparency and accuracy.

Fresh example The Thai government recently started to use the blockchain in government procurement. UAE declared to digitize 50% of government transactions with blockchain by 2021 Interest rate of SME loans in our country is too high to makes a profitable business.

By using blockchain the financing cost can be lowered of the small business which will leads the SMEs more competitive and profitable. We can follow how Ant Financial, Owner of Alipay, has introduced the Ant Blockchain open alliance aimed at lowering the barriers for SMEs by providing a blockchain network service at lower costs.

Still we are agricultural country and most of our people lives on agriculture but it is still not scientific and productive or business oriented. If farmers can be included through blockchain in a single platform and disbursed the agricultural loan through it.

Which means originally farmers get the governments subsidy, benefits and loan by ensuring accuracy in a single centralized agricultural data base under ministry of agriculture.  Using blockchain Cambodia to promote financial inclusion and agricultural sector can be a learning example for us.

Chittagong port is the life line of Bangladesh economy with its poor management and system. Using blockchain can makes it more competitive to handle more ships and container with transparent freight management which will increase govt.

revenue collection and ports productivity to accommodate our increasing volume of business around the world. Government can learn how Marseille Fos Port Authority and Singapore Port Authority carried blockchain solutions for freight system.

Singapore launches blockchain maritime to cut waiting times for container ships and the risk of fraud. Thailand announced it would use IBM's Trade lens blockchain solution to streamline operations by managing shipment tracking and information sharing in Thai ports.

CIB culture of Bangladesh has failed to protect the defaulter to take a fresh loan again and again being the information is not real time and information can be customized in CIB (Regularize a default loan by a lump sum payment).

By using blockchain based digital ID system data can be real time and cannot be tampered or altered and the defaulter can be checked out from fresh loan. We can follow blockchain based digital ID system developed by Azerbaijan to protect personal data transferred between credit organizations.

In our country land registration office's process is very complex and corrupted. By using blockchain existing land registration process can be replaced with clarity, consisting of three party transection in a block (buyer, seller and the land register office) in a faster time, without corruption and tempering of documents by fake ownership.

Like South Africa has used property registration project with 1,000 subsidized houses provided by government. It will creates immutable records of homeownership. Bangladesh is facing Rohinga crisis in Cox's Bazar where different NGO's, NPO's are working separately to feed, educate, medication the Rohingas.

But this process is not centralized monitored and many NGO's using their money to use anti nationalism interest, besides the ready cash money in their hand increase the unnecessary and unjustified local inflation. Using blockchain in a single platform to feed, educate and medication by all partied can easily control the Rohinga crisis and can control all NGO's to act against national interest to protect sovereignty of the country.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has utilized the blockchain technology to assist Syrian refugees in the Jordan through building blockchain by authenticates purchases of commodities in refugee camp and financing to them is a learning case. Saint Martin one of the most vulnerable eco-tourism place of Bangladesh which becomes more vulnerable day by day due to unregulated visitors.

Using blockchain based tourism Saint Martin can be well regulated, maintain payment settlement and visitor control in a central control mechanism by the national tourism board of Bangladesh to protect this precious coral island. Tourism board can follow how South Korea's Jelu Island using blockchain based ecosystem for tourism.

If we want to exist and competitive in this digital era, no way other than accepting new technology. Using blockchain in public services like education, transportation, port - shipping, land registration office, passport office and audit firm government can ensure maximum utilization of minimum resources by reducing the corruption and redtappism. Present govt. vows to digitize its governance to build a digital Bangladesh.

Hench blockchain can be a pathway to achieve the development milestone. If we adopt it lately it means country will be away from digital development. Indonesia banned blockchain in 2018 but latter they open it for the sake of development.

A high end blockchain team can be made in national level by the govt. to analysis the probable sector or departments where blockchain can be used by evaluating the pros and cons of the system as early as possible to be a true digital Bangladesh. The earlier the better, the later the bitter.

Salim Ahmed CDCS®, CAMS (Member) is a Banker, Trade, AML, Blockchain and Fintech Enthusiast.
He can be reached at [email protected]

---Salim Ahmed

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