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Police Mandate Use of Blockchain Hotel Registry in Indian City

Police in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have ordered hotels to deploy a new blockchain security solution developed by local startup Zebi.

According to a Medium post from the startup published last Friday, the product merges blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to securely store data about hotel guests – aimed to both bring convenience to customers and to help prevent criminal activities.

The data collected is compared with the police database of criminals, missing persons and so on to ascertain whether the guest has any criminal background.

Zebi said that the solution – dubbed Zebi AI Chain – has already been integrated across over 200 hotels, including The Park, Taj Gateway, Novotel in Vizag, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh known for its “Fintech Valley” ecosystem.

Dr Fakeerappa Kaginelli, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Vizag region, confirmed that the use of the solution has been made mandatory for all hotels in the Vizag city limits.

He told Coindesk today:

“All hotels are directed to enter their check-in particulars on real time basis without fail and they are adhering too … 230 hotels are entering their guest particulars through this tech web page.”

The initiative collects real-time date from hotel check-in desks in order to provide “real-time surveillance over criminals and their anti-social activities,” he said. “No criminal activities as such are reported to date.”

Under Indian law, hotels must provide guests’ personal data to the police on a daily basis.

“Generally, they do it manually, leaving scope for misuse during transportation and storage of papers. Time to process the documents too is long,” said Babu Munagala, Zebi’s founder and CEO, according to the Hindu Business Line.

The posts states that the “private and sensitive” data of hotel guests is immutably stored in the Zebi AI Chain system.

Nagesh Kumar Venkata, assistant front office manager of The Park hotel, was quoted as saying that local police previously had to visit the hotel on a regular basis to ascertain the status of tourists and their backgrounds. “Now it is not necessary,” he said.

Looking ahead, Zebi further says it is preparing for “full-scale deployment across all the hotels in India.”

Indian police car image via Shutterstock

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Indian State Partners With Fund To Launch Blockchain Ecosystem

Andhra Pradesh, an Indian state known for its efforts in exploring blockchain applications, is furthering that goal with a new agreement with a local fund firm.

According to a Tweet by the state’s government, Andhra Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Covalent Fund, to start a blockchain ecosystem as part of the souther state’s Fintech Valley Vizag initiative.

The partnership will also soon launch a blockchain university, with a $10 million initial investment, according to the post.

According to business news outlet Inc42, Covalent Fund will help the state provide blockchain startups greater access to capital and other resources, as well as developing a blockchain stack.

The state hopes to integrate blockchain platforms into official businesses by next year, said Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Nara Lokesh, according to Inc42. Part of the goal is to develop transparent governance through blockchain.

He continued, saying:

“Our collaboration with Covalent Fund is focused on the creation of a world-class sustainable blockchain ecosystem in the state that will make in ways for innovative startups to work with a start-up state like ours.”

The announcement marks the latest move by the seventh-largest Indian state in fostering applications of the blockchain technology. Last year, the state announced a partnership with blockchain startup ChromaWay to pilot a land registry ledger and a separate partnership with cybersecurity company WISeKey to secure private data on a blockchain.

Vizag Valley image via Prawat Thananithaporn / Shutterstock

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Indian State Partners With Blockchain Startup for Land Registry Pilot

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is working with startup ChromaWay on a land registry pilot that uses blockchain to track the ownership of property.

The state government has been exploring a number of uses for blockchain in recent months, and in September it inked a separate partnership with startup WISekey related to identity solutions. Andhra Pradesh is one of several regional governments in India to look into applications of the tech, and land registries – systems used to keep track of who owns what property – have been highlighted by other governments worldwide as one area in which the technology could lead to improved services.

The test platform being built with Sweden-based ChromaWay is part of the Fintech Valley Vizag initiative launched by the southeast Indian state.

According to the parties involved, it utilizes a distributed ledger on the back-end and a straightforward web-app front end, which provides “radically transparent access to data,” according to ChromaWay.

J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, said in a statement:

“Blockchain is the technology of the future. It will not only change the way we perceive processes but it also has the potential to transform the economy. Of course, we all are yet to fully discover this technology and hence the Government of Andhra Pradesh has engaged with startups from across the globe such as Chromaway to run proofs of concept within its own departments.”

The project represents the latest public sector partnership for ChromaWay. Sweden’s land registry authority, the Lantmäteriet, revealed in April that it is working with the startup on a land registry initiative. Other participants in that effort include banks SBAB and Landshypotek, as well as the consultancy Kairos Future.

Image via Shutterstock.com.

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Indian State Partners to Build Public Sector Blockchain Applications

Andhra Pradesh, India’s seventh largest state, has announced a new partnership with cybersecurity company WISeKey to secure citizen data with blockchain tech.

Citing the huge volumes of individuals’ data being held on databases, and the wave of recent cybercrime attacked worldwide, the state said it plans to protect government-recorded data using WISeKey’s blockchain technology. The partnership will see the development of various pilot projects across different departments of the state government, as well as potentially an expansion into other fields such as smart cities.

“We are looking towards WISeKey to play a leadership role in providing cybersecurity for the various initiatives of the government, but also drawing out the vision for smart cities who want to go beyond IoT … and use ‘Deep Tech’ algorithmic technology, said J.A. Chowdary, IT advisor to the state’s chief minister, in a statement.

N. Balasubramanyam, transport commissioner for Andhra Pradesh, also revealed a plan to implement blockchain into transportation, adding that it would be one of the “first states in the world” to do so.

Carlos Moreira, founder and CEO ofWISeKey, said of the project:

“To have a pristine vision like putting the citizen at the center of gravity, and building all the infrastructure around this vision is the key to successfully empower citizens to unleash their full potential.”

Andhra Pradesh has been pursuing blockchain for some time and previously explored the use of the tech for land registries, as reported by CoinDesk.

Notably, the state is home to the “Fintech Valley Vizag” – a business infrastructure initiative led by the Andhra Pradesh government, which has been heralded as the locus of fintech disruption in India.

India document image via Shutterstock

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