Silicon valley expert says US can learn from India's demonetisation move

Expert on digital economy Vivek Wadhwa praised India for 'simple and practical innovations'.

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Washington, Jan 24: 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.

"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.

The Reserve Bank of India office in Kolkata

"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. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation policy announced on November 8, he wrote "was a bold move that will surely produce long-term benefit, because it will accelerate the push to digital currency and the modernisation of the Indian economy."

"We are not ready to become a cashless society, but there are many lessons that silicon valley and the US can learn from the developing world," said Wadhwa who is a distinguished fellow and professor at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at silicon valley and a director of research at center for entrepreneurship and research commercialization at Duke.

PTI

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