Odisha has a lot to offer the blockchain ecosystem. From a decentralized energy grid that is powered by solar panels and micro-grids, to India’s first distributed ledger – all sitting on top of each other. The future looks bright in Odisha!
Many businesses may benefit from blockchain technology, with the financial industry being one of the most noteworthy examples. It has the potential to have an even bigger effect in poor nations, where blockchain-enhanced fintech may assist the world’s 1.7 billion unbanked individuals get access to financial services including peer-to-peer loans, alternative currency payments, and investments.
This is why, despite the majority of the original wave of bitcoin influencers, including as Erik Voorhees, Charlie Lee, Tim Draper, Andreas Antonopoulos, and others, are from first-world Western nations, some of the technology’s most influential thought leaders come from underdeveloped countries.
Odia refers to people from Odisha, a state in the Indian subcontinent, and four of the most well-known supporters of blockchain technology are Odia. Odisha has generated four pioneering adventures, connected by both geographic origin and their distinct obstacles in the IT sector, despite being one of the poorest states in the nation. These individuals, in particular, are making their impact in the world of blockchain, at a moment when disruptive technology is at its most thrilling.
MAS’s Chief Fintech Officer, Mohanty, Sopnendu (the Monetary Authority of Singapore)
Sopnendu Mohanty began his career in the information technology field in 1995, after earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in information science. He relocated to Japan in 1997 to work for Citigroup’s product and services development business. He stayed with Citigroup for 18 years, rising through the ranks to become Head of Citigroup’s Asia Pacific Branch Operations and then Head of Citigroup’s Global Consumer Lab.
Sopnendu Mohanty left Citigroup in 2015 to become Chief Financial Officer of the Singapore government-run Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). He has contributed to Singapore’s growth as one of the world’s top fintech centres while at MAS.
Sopnendu is an ardent speaker and worldwide thought leader in fintech, as well as a vocal advocate for a faster transition to a digital blockchain-based economy, in addition to his role at MAS.
“By design, a distributed ledger removes the whole difficulty of settling and verifying things. “It also enables certain business rules to be put into use cases – the payment process, the settlement process, the underlying business rules can all be encoded into a single stream,” Sopnendu Mohanty said.
“In today’s world, there are two distinct processes. There’s a method for paying each other, and there’s a process for exchanging products and services. These two procedures are combined into a single process in which you are not only paying each other but also guaranteeing that products and services are traded at the time of payment using blockchain digital money.”
The MAS gave DBS Vickers, a subsidiary of DBS Bank, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, a license to formally provide bitcoin services in September 2021.
“This is a natural evolution in any invention,” Sopnendu Mohanty said, “and there has been a very evident rising interest in digital assets.”
“Banks are constantly being pushed out of their comfy conventional financial domain by fintechs. DBS thinking about new areas where they may provide value and build a new service is really promising to us. This is a true testament to the fintech sector’s maturity in Singapore. We don’t see a distinction between fintechs and banks here. Both are complementary; they complement one other and collaborate.”
Merkle Science’s CEO and Co-Founder, Mriganka Pattnaik (Mriganka Pattnaik)
Mriganka Pattnaik, who hails from the historic city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, began his fintech career with multiple internships even before completing his technology Bachelor’s degree from ITT Guwahati in 2013. Mriganka moved directly to work as an analyst at Bank of America’s Mumbai unit after graduation.
He left two years later to start Datatrix Healthcare Technologies, a startup that let customers purchase medicine and home diagnostic testing from pharmacies near them.
“I saw an opportunity to fill a need, and I still feel that entrepreneurship is the most direct method to close these gaps,” Pattnaik said.
“Unfortunately, there was a lot of regulatory uncertainty in the internet pharmacy space.” It was difficult to get a complete understanding of the danger situation. This experience taught me how regulatory uncertainty may stifle innovation and harm early-stage businesses. Following that, in 2016, I relocated to Singapore to work at Luno, a well-known cryptocurrency exchange, where I supported strategy and country-specific execution across three continents.”
During his tenure at Luno, he saw firsthand the regulatory hurdles that digital asset enterprises confront in a variety of countries, as well as the critical role that regulations play in the industry’s health and long-term development. He then enrolled in the Entrepreneur First startup accelerator, where he met Nirmal Aryath Koroth, with whom he co-founded Merkle Science in 2018.
Merkle Science is a risk and intelligence platform that assists businesses and government agencies in detecting, investigating, and preventing unlawful cryptocurrency activity.
“As the popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrencies grew, more financial institutions, retail platforms, and governments began to use the technology. Unfortunately, as the number of lawful use cases grows, so does the number of illegitimate uses,” Pattnaik warned. “It’s predicted that more than 12 billion dollars worth of cryptocurrency was engaged in criminal activities in 2020 alone.”
“Unsurprisingly, several governments across the globe have responded by enacting new rules and regulations governing the operation of bitcoin enterprises.” The goal of these new restrictions is to reduce the risk associated with cryptocurrencies. Companies, on the other hand, are finding it difficult to operate with cryptocurrencies as a result of these new rules and regulations, and they are unsure how to comply. These new regulations need the development of new-age solutions, which is where Merkle Science comes in. “We’ve created a set of solutions that take use of the blockchain’s transparent and traceable characteristics to assist companies in identifying and protecting themselves against illicit usage,” Pattnaik said.
Bestselling Blockchain Author Debajani Mohanty is a Debajani Mohanty is a Deb
Debajani Mohanty is the bestselling author of five blockchain books and was named one of the top 30 Blockchain influencers in India by Singapore Fintech News and one of the top 100 blockchain social influencers in the world by Piktale Awards. She was born in the coastal state of Odisha and studied Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering at Sambalpur University before embarking on a 24-year career (and counting) designing software solutions for Indian and, since 2020, English firms.
She began working with blockchain in 2017 and has since worked in development utilizing a variety of blockchain technologies. “Blockchain’s whole potential has yet to be realized,” Debajani Mohanty said. “Much more focused investigation is required.”
Debajani Mohanty’s writings span from broad blockchain overviews for newcomers to the field, such as her five-star books “Blockchain for Self Sovereign Digital Identity” and “Ethereum for Architects and Developers,” to in-depth courses on R3 Corda, Ripple, and Ethereum. She’s also the author of “The Curse of Damini,” a story on women’s empowerment for which Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kailash Satyarthi awarded her the Arya award.
She has endeavored to share her expertise via books, blogs, videos, and live sessions at several blockchain summits in India and overseas since the beginning of her blockchain career. “Propagating information, particularly to company executives and decision-makers, is the need of the hour,” she says, “since they have the power to take this blockchain journey to the next level.”
CBDC, Decentralized Identity, and the enforcement of data acts (GDPR, CCPA, PDPA, etc.) in managing personal data are predicted to be the next key developments in blockchain, according to Debajani Mohanty.
MRHB DeFi’s CEO and Founder, Mohammed Naquib
Naquib Mohammed, a native of Cuttack, studied information technology at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology. He then worked for firms all around the world for more than a decade in information technology, first as a software engineer and subsequently as a business architect.
“After spending a few years understanding and working on commercial use cases of distributed ledger technology during the bull run of late 2019, my interest in cryptocurrencies truly began to grow serious,” said Naquib Mohammed.
“Researching the rising IT sector as an enterprise architect was a logical path, and here is where I discovered blockchain as an integral aspect of Industry 4.0 technology.”
Mohammed was invited to Australia in 2020 as a “Distinguished Global Fintech Talent” by the Australian government. He went headlong into blockchain technology there, studying and learning the subject for 7-8 hours a day.
“Within a six-month period, I completed over 15 certifications in various aspects of blockchain.”
He chose to build his own pioneering decentralized financial firm, MRHB (pronounced Marhaba) DeFi, in April of 2021, after working at another startup. This aimed to address what he saw as a significant gap in the crypto realm, which he believed was excluding many populations owing to their religion (in particular, his own as a Muslim), lack of access, and technical sophistication. The Islamic Finance business, which is presently valued over $3 trillion USD, demonstrates the desire for financial services that are compatible with religion beliefs.
Mohammed also wanted to establish a more empowering, ethical, and community-focused initiative that would appeal to individuals new to cryptocurrency and counter the poor image produced by widespread fraud, danger, and opacity in the industry. As a result, he intends to develop a more ethical and inclusive initiative that helps people of all faiths.
“Because our network is built on extremely high ethical standards, one of our product offers is a crypto-based contributions platform called DePhi, a decentralized philanthropy protocol that will be released in Phase 2.” We really aim to attract investors from all walks of life who are interested in ensuring that their investments have a social effect in addition to profiting from the cryptoverse’s riches prospects,” Mohammed stated.
“By addressing the emerging crypto economy from the outset with a more ethical mindset, we can all contribute to a more egalitarian and inclusive future for everybody.”
MRHB DeFi is a groundbreaking initiative in the DeFi ecosystem, since it is the first to target the USD 3 trillion Islamic Finance ecosystem and other underserved areas. It is also funded by Polygon Technology. Polygon, a well-known Layer-2 blockchain, is assisting in the construction of the first dApp focused on Islamic and ethical banking.
These blockchain personalities are an inspiration to people all over the world who want to be involved in the revolutionary technology, with their blockchain stories impacting a variety of industries and use-cases, from regulations, compliance, intelligence gathering, and security to education, ethics, inclusion, and philanthropy.
We will surely see more expert representation from all around the world as the blockchain and decentralized financial movements spread throughout the globe. Hopefully, blockchain inventors and business founders from developing nations will have a lot of success, since here is where the technology can do the greatest benefit for society. In the domains of blockchain and cryptocurrency, financial services such as zero-fee payments and transactions, peer-to-peer lending, and all manner of banking activities for excluded populations are feasible.
All that is required now is for more pioneers to come forward and embrace the chance.
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The “cro and ufc” is a story about four inspiring blockchain journeys and stories from Odisha, India. The article discusses the positive impact of blockchain technology on society.
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