It doesn’t seem that long ago that Minority Report scared the wits out of us. Poor old Tom Cruise looked as helpless to the digital world that encased him as he must feel in his, ahem, “spiritual” life. Perhaps it was this movie that finally punted him over the edge into the arms of a glorified Star Trek convention, but who the hell knows?
What I do know is that the life depicted in Minority Report was both awesome and obviously rather troubling. We also know that the guy at the top wasn’t an Indian politician pushing all the buttons. But back in the real world that’s exactly what we’ve got and Minority Report is more real today than it was even in that movie. Even more astonishing is where this world is taking shape. Hint: it’s not Silicon Valley.
You’ll remember that late last year India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly eliminated large denominated bank notes.
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This was pretty astonishing for a country which was quite literally a cash economy and where millions never even had a bank account. The question to ask was what the hell was he thinking? It turns out the elimination of cash was merely just one step in a far far grander plan.
That plan is IndiaStack, an open source platform where information is a utility.
The set of open API for developers includes:
- The Aadhaar for authentication
- The e-KYC documents that have been generated
- Digital lockers
- e-signatures (software based as against the present dongle based e-signs)
- The Unified Payments Interface which rides on top of the National Payment Corporation of India’s Immediate Payment System.
You can check out a presentation which provides a decent overview of it here.
I’m surprised that I didn’t find out about IndiaStack earlier, and it was only while on a conversation with a friend that I was alerted to it over a month ago now. The implications for this on India’s economy promise to be truly significant.
I recorded (slightly edited) a chat with Raoul Pal, who brought IndiaStack to my attention and you can listen in on it here.
Raoul thinks it’s one of the greatest technological macro stories he’s has ever seen, and after spending the last few weeks digging in I can’t disagree.
Consider a high friction economy moving decisively towards what could be one of if not the most frictionless economy. Think about what this means for velocity of money.
We discuss how eliminating cash and moving everyone onto a digital money system immediately capitalises the banking system, it massively increases tax revenues, and how commerce in India is already changing and fast in a country of 1.2 billion people.
We discuss how this could quite easily be a significant negative to Bitcoin and more.
Raoul also mentions what to buy going into the next recession that you can and probably should hold forever. It’s a topic I’ve covered before in these pages but worth reviewing again.
I hope you enjoy it!
“The times they are a-changin.” — Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Article by Chris, Capitalist Exploits