Yesterday we had a meeting with various stakeholders in the IT&E Sector and deliberated on the way forward for strategy to be adopted in 2018 for positioning Bengal as a leader in the Global New Technology Eco System.
We recognised that unilateral vertical knowledge silos no longer work: this is the age of networking, clustering and co-working . It is not enough to man a centre with experts knowing C++, Java, Python or Ionic2 codes: there must be inputs from other field specialists as well. With traditional skills of Bengal in mathematics and statistics, with the existence of Indian Statistical Institute as well as other institutions like IIT, IIIT, IIEST, IIM, Presidency, Science College, Bose Institute, SINP and more, Bengal has been producing a large amount of leadership in Cybersecurity, Fintech and Data Sciences the world over in recent years.
We therefore decided to project the game-changing Blockchain Technology to be the anchor theme for Bengal's strategy in the IT World in the short and medium term. Blockchain has deep linkages to FinTech, Data Sciences and Cybersecurity and indeed all of these are related to each other at a deep level. Blockchains provide secured public databases that are free from cyber attacks. Blockchain Technology is the basis of Bitcoins, Ethereums and Initial Coin Offerings in the realm of FinTech zone. Blockchain is linked to data sciences in public database managements.
A recent report in Economist suggests that the latest frenzy in global markets is cryptocurrency. It is a derivative of Blockchain Technology. The price of the best known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has risen by 700% last year. ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings have drawn in more than $3.2 billion in crowd-sourced funds this year, as per the report.
In New Town, a FinTech Hub has already been conceptualized, near the Financial Hub, where tech firms and New Technology Ventures will be provided space to work with Financial Institutions - of which 23 have already taken up space in the Finance Hub. A wing of a new building, designed architecturally to be IT friendly, in New Town will house a Centre of Excellence on Cybersecurity. A call has been given to Blockchain experts to create a pilot scheme of land records in Sector 5 and New Town. And West Bengal is participating in the India Pavilion in the Singapore FinTech Festival next week.