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India May Have Leapfrogged US Tech Industry

India May Have Leapfrogged US Tech IndustryIndia May Have Leapfrogged US Tech Industry

The US can learn many lessons from India’s move towards a cashless economy, a top Silicon Valley expert has said while underlining that India “may have leapfrogged” American technology industry with simple and practical innovations.

The Silicon Valley, in the southern San Francisco Bay Area of California, is home to many start-up and global technology companies.

“India may have leapfrogged the US technology industry with simple and practical innovations and massive grunt work. It has built a digital infrastructure that will soon process billions more transactions than bitcoin ever has,” top Silicon Valley expert on digital economy Vivek Wadhwa wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post, PTI reported. 

“With this, India will skip two generations of financial technologies and build something as monumental as China’s Great Wall and America’s interstate highways,” Wadhwa said in his op-ed titled ‘What the US can learn from India’s move toward a cashless society’.

Wadhwa argued that the Unified Payment Interface launched by India has eliminated billing processor and transaction costs are zero unlike credit card payments. “There is no technology barrier to prevent a UPI from working in the US. Transfers would happen within seconds, even faster than the 10 minutes that a bitcoin transaction takes,” he said.

The top Indian-American expert also praised another Indian innovation India Stack, which is a series of secured and connected systems that allow people to store and share personal data such as addresses, bank statements, medical records, employment records and tax filings, and it enables the digital signing of documents. 

It will also transform how lending is done. Over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy announced on November 8, he said “it was a bold move that will surely produce long-term benefit, because it will accelerate the push to digital currency and the modernization of the Indian economy.”

Though few people in the West know of India’s information technology called Aadhaar, it has been the largest and most successful project in the world. There was widespread scepticism about whether a billion people could be provided with a verifiable digital identity, yet it has occurred, in a short span of six years. Hundreds of millions of people who were doomed to live in the shadows of the informal economy can now participate as equals in the global economy.

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