Namaste Web3 - the education and awareness drive initiated by CoinDCX and Forbes India, hosted its second event in Delhi on 11th March 2023 on the theme of “$5 trillion Indian economy: is web3 India’s next big thing?”, at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi. The event discussed India's potential to become a leading player in the Web3 market. With a young population and programs like Digital India, Make in India, Startup India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat, India is poised to continue building its tech capability.
The event began with a welcome address by Manisha Gupta, Editor - Commodities & Currencies for CNBC-TV18 followed by the keynote address by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, MP, Rajya Sabha, Chair, Parliamentary Standing Committees on Commerce, Eminent Jurist.
While talking about the $5 trillion dollar economy and whether Web3 is India's next big thing, Dr. Singhvi said, “Web3 benefits from and boosts India's greatest asset: its technical talent…By 2023, it is projected to have the most developers too. The digital economy in India grew at 2.4x faster rate than the country’s overall economy between 2014 and 2019, and yet, we have only scratched the surface…Educational initiatives like Namaste Web3, which travels from city to city inviting tech enthusiasts and industry leaders to join the Web3 revolution, can be quite effective in informing the public about the potential benefits of blockchain-based finance.”
The keynote was followed by an opening address by Sumit Gupta, Founder & CEO, CoinDCX, where he put emphasis on how India is poised to be the global hub for Web3. Talking about the importance of Web3 and blockchain in a citizen centric ecosystem, Sumit said, "Fundamentally, the blockchain can solve a lot of challenges - whether it is how to build robust financial systems or how to build governance which is more citizen centric, gives more control over our data, privacy etc. Essentially, you own your data and identity. This is what web3 is all about. It's a new technology stack that's building a new internet."
Dilip Chenoy, Chairman, Bharat Web3 Association, followed up with a special address on Web3 Start-up Landscape : Creating New Business Models, commenting on the Web3 ecosystem he said, “talking about the whole web3 ecosystem, there are several used cases. If you look at the $30Bn in funding in this space in 2021, the venture capital sector has got immense trust and faith in this sector. I hope 2023 becomes a defining moment for India in the Web3 space and we leverage its full potential." ”
The first panel discussion on the topic Web3: The $1 Trillion Opportunity came next. The panel consisted of Anna Roy, Sr. Adviser, NITI Aayog; Prashanth Swaminathan, Partner, Woodstock Fund; Srinath Sridharan, Author, Policy Researcher & Corporate Advisor; Ajeet Khurana, Founder, Reflexical Pte Ltd. “A lot of tech revolutions we saw tended to give economic benefit to the technically proficient. Web3 is one of the first tech innovations that promises opportunities even to the non technical people, because there's a huge community dimension to it," said Ajeet, while talking about the potential of Web3 In India.
The panel was followed by a special address on Web3's Role in Citizen-centric Governance by Shree Ravi Shankar Prasad, Former Union Minister and Senior Leader BJP. “Today we have close to 1,00,000 startups. Many of them are unicorns supplying products outside India. Many of them are [by] young people - hardly 25, 30 years of age. That is the ecosystem that technology creates," said Prasad, highlighting the importance of startups in India and how they benefit from tech.
Manisha Gupta engaged in a fireside chat with Baijayant Panda, National Vice President, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Leveraging India's G20 Presidency to Advance the Development of VDA Regulatory Principles through International Cooperation. "The post-Covid new India is more decisive and has transitioned from diffidence to confidence. Our self assuredness has allowed us to take cutting edge decisions. We’ve also begun to leverage technology to solve many long pending issues,” said Baijayant Panda.
The show closed with the last panel discussion which focussed on Developing Global Regulatory Standards for Virtual Digital Assets. The panel comprised Rama Vedashree, Advisor, Dallas Venture Capital; Mr. Gaurav Gogoi, Deputy Leader, Indian National Congress, Lok Sabha and two-time MP from Assam; Shweta Shalini, State Secretary BJP, Maharashtra and Spokesperson BJP; Mr. Gopal Jain, Sr. Advocate; Mr. Prashant Garg, Partner Consulting, EY. "India is not the only country figuring out crypto. India is very diverse so we need to take appropriate measures. I feel that the G20 is a very good platform, because cross border global interoperability will make blockchain more acceptable,” said Shweta Shalini, highlighting the importance of G20 when it comes to blockchain.
The event concluded with a dinner and networking session. Overall, the Namaste Web3 event showcased India's potential to become a leading player in the Web3 market and the potential benefits it could bring to the Indian economy.
You can watch the coverage of the event here
The next event in Namaste Web3 is planned for Pune.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash