Blockchain can play an extremely important role in making sure data is secure and transparent.
This is an exclusive interview conducted by the Editor Team of CIO News with Akhil Damodaran, Dean at IILM University and CEO of Elteridium Technologies.
About Akhil Damodaran:
Akhil Damodaran is a highly experienced professional with a background spanning the telecom, IT, aviation, and education industries. Presently, he holds the position of Dean at the Undergraduate Business School of IILM University. Prior to joining IILM University, Akhil served as the Cluster Head of the Emergent Vertical within the School of Business at UPES. In the past, he has worked with the France Telecommunication Group and Tata Communications Ltd.
Beyond his role at IILM, Akhil also assumes the mantle of founder and CEO at Elteridium, a blockchain smart contract firm specializes in advisory services tailored for public-private partnerships, with a particular focus on utilizing smart contracts to enhance and optimize these partnerships.” His involvement extends to various other organizations, including Fitsyndicate, a token-based blockchain startup. Additionally, he serves as a mentor for IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurial Cell and functions as a regional mentor for the Atal Tinkering Lab under NITI Aayog.
In 2021, he achieved recognition as a recipient of the esteemed Celerity 40 under 40 Supply Chain Achievers Award.
Akhil has a diverse educational background, encompassing a bachelor’s degree in electronics and instrumentation engineering from RGPV, a postgraduate degree in management from IIT Delhi, a degree in competition law from the National Law University Delhi, and a PhD in management from UPES.
How can blockchain revolutionise the way governments and private entities collaborate?
Government and private entities collaborate on projects, generally where private expertise is required for government-owned projects. This means there is typically a contract between the government and private parties, which can be short-term or long-term, depending on the project in hand. For example, airports generally have a contract period of 20 to 30 years, while highways or major roads may have an 8- to 10-year agreement. These long-term projects have contracts, negotiations, regulator supervision due to their monopoly nature, pricing challenges, and more importantly, documentation, verification, and transparency. I think blockchain really changes this game completely. At first, it provides a better contract agreement through smart contracts, but at the same time, it provides transparency to regulatory bodies, all ledgers in one single place, and is completely immutable.
How can blockchain protect sensitive data?
I think we need to relook at the data completely. Blockchain can play an extremely important role in making sure data is secure and transparent, like:
Data Protection: Imagine blockchain as a fortress for your data. It uses fancy math (cryptographic techniques) to wrap your information in layers of protection. This makes it super tough for anyone to sneak a peek or decode your data without permission.
No Central Boss: Unlike traditional systems with a single boss (centralised), blockchain is like a team of equals (decentralized). Each team member (node) has a complete copy of the records. This means there’s no one weak link. Even if one member stumbles, the rest keep everything secure.
Permanent Records: Once something goes into the blockchain, it’s like carving it in stone. No one can mess with it. This creates an unchangeable history of events, which is pretty handy for checking things later.
Secret Keys: Access to your blockchain information relies on special keys. These keys are like secret codes. Only those with the right code can unlock and see your stuff, adding another layer of protection.
Smart Agreements: Think of smart contracts as super-reliable robots. They follow instructions precisely. When certain conditions are met, they spring into action without any human errors messing things up.
Agreeing Together: Blockchain has a way for all its members to agree on what’s real (consensus). It’s like everyone has to give a thumbs-up before something is added. This stops sneaky stuff from happening.
Permission Rules: Sometimes, we need extra privacy. Permissioned blockchains are like VIP clubs. Only certain people with invitations get in. This is super useful when you need top-notch privacy and control.
Your Data, Your Way: Blockchain gives you the power to decide who gets to see your data. You can open the door for some and lock it for others, reducing the risk of data leaks.
Safe ID Check: Blockchain can prove who you are without telling your secrets. It’s like showing your ID without giving away your home address.
Playing by the Rules: Blockchain’s transparency and super-organised records make it easy to follow the rules. It’s like having a rulebook that everyone can see. This helps companies stay on the right side of the law.
How can blockchain make the public-private partnership (PPP) model more inclusive and community-driven?
Picture this: Customers have the authority to share their thoughts and rate the progress of a project. If they aren’t pleased and their rating is as low as 2 out of 5, the private developer won’t receive payment for the phase they were working on. This is a game-changer as it empowers consumers through smart contracts.
Blockchain takes it a step further by granting the community more control. It ensures that every digital asset is one-of-a-kind, with each transaction uniquely recorded for easy auditing. Plus, since blockchain maintains its own ledger, the need for constant intervention from banks may become a thing of the past.
How can blockchain in a public-private partnership provide a single platform for all transactions to be carried out?
I believe there’s no need to refocus on “how” to answer this question, as blockchain inherently establishes a single, fully decentralised ledger that serves as the singular repository for all transaction records. Moreover, to ensure the engagement of all public-private partnership (PPP) stakeholders and the presence of a unified ledger platform, it is essential for all stakeholders to connect through their respective wallets during the contract binding phase. This facilitates the seamless integration of smart contracts to bind all stakeholders within the contract framework.
What are the benefits of blockchain for the public-private partnership market?
The public-private partnership (PPP) sector is currently valued at over $400 billion, and its growth potential is poised to expand exponentially with the emergence of new public infrastructure projects. It’s safe to say that PPP represents one of the most promising markets for blockchain technology in the future.
Elaborating further, the application of blockchain in PPP can revolutionise the way public infrastructure projects are executed and managed. Blockchain’s inherent features, such as transparency, security, and smart contract automation, align seamlessly with the complex nature of PPP collaborations.
By leveraging blockchain, PPP projects can benefit from enhanced transparency, where all stakeholders have access to a shared ledger that records every transaction and decision. This transparency reduces the potential for disputes and ensures accountability throughout the project lifecycle.
Security is another paramount aspect, as blockchain’s encryption and immutability make it exceptionally resilient to fraud and tampering. This not only safeguards financial transactions but also protects sensitive project data.
Moreover, smart contracts, a cornerstone of blockchain technology, can automate various aspects of PPP agreements, from fund disbursement to compliance monitoring. This automation streamlines processes, reduces administrative overhead, and minimizes the risk of errors or delays.
Elteridium’s engagement in this transformative domain underscores its dedication to leveraging blockchain’s potential for the benefit of PPP stakeholders. We have PPP experts who possess a deep understanding of contracts and are adept at integrating existing contracts into smart contracts. Through the integration of blockchain solutions, Elteridium is actively contributing to the advancement of PPP, rendering it more efficient, transparent, and secure.
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