Distributed ledger technology may add $5 billion to Indian economy in the next five years, according to NASSCOM’s VP Industry Initiatives. The non-profit trade association, which represents the sector of software and services companies in the country, has backed blockchain technology for many years.NASSCOM Promotes Blockchain In India for Its Potential for Economic GrowthKS Viswanathan, Vice President (Industry Initiative) at the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) told Indo-Asian News Services (IANS) that the underlying technology of Bitcoin et al. might lead to economic growth of up to $5 billion in the country before 2024 as it disrupts entire sectors of the economy by increasing productivity and transparency, as well as reducing costs.“The Blockchain ecosystem is evolving in India. Creating awareness on how this technology is simpler and easier to use with the existing social media and Cloud technology can go a long way in helping the country realize its potential”, Viswanathan said, while pointing out a number of issues holding back the expansion of blockchain in the economy, such as the unavailability of skilled human resources and insufficient computing infrastructure. “There are currently just 20-30 good Blockchain startups in the country.”The top official at NASSCOM, who is heading the association’s 10,000 Startups Initiative, called for more investment in blockchain startups to get the ecosystem ready to boost economic growth in the country. The need to create awareness of the technology in India has led NASSCOM to partner up with Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) of Canada in order to set up joint webinars and knowledge sharing, among other activities.BRI is also collaborating with NASSCOM on the first Nasscom Industry Partnership Programme (NIPP) Blockchain challenge, which will result in a 36-hour session in Bangaluru, to be held on July 28-29, where new talents will work together to create innovative solutions with blockchain. The challenge will be an opportunity to raise awareness and develop blockchain know how, according to Viswanathan.“Boosting skill levels, creating awareness on how this technology is simpler and easier to use with the existing social media and Cloud technology, organising multiple hackathons and getting international research papers on DLT published are among the priorities that Nasscom is focusing on to increase deployment of the technology.”The non-profit launched a platform called FutureSkills with the aim of up-skilling two million employees and students in technologies, and instruct another two million over the next few years. The program will consider DLT as the 10th technological skill.