Infosys is working on 50 pilot projects using blockchain, the technology which is at the heart of Bitcoin.

Talking to BusinessLine , Prasad Joshi, Vice-President and Head, Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions, said the software major has formed blockchain workgroups for each industry vertical.

“Our 500 blockchain specialists and 1,000 consultants form a part of the core group that will take these blockchain technologies to existing and new customers,” he said. Recently, EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned product subsidiary of Infosys, along with Emirates NBD, a banking group in West Asia and ICICI Bank are doing a pilot to launch blockchain network for international remittances and trade finance.

Infosys currently is working on 15,000 projects but revenue from top 5 customers in the 2017 fiscal went down to 14.1 per cent from 15.7 per cent in the 2016 fiscal, signalling the software major’s necessity to work on new technologies.

A vast majority of the 50 pilot projects have been done for non-financial services areas, which is where blockchain is seeing huge interest and adoption. For example, insurance major AIG and IBM have completed a pilot of a “smart contract” multi-national policy for Standard Chartered Bank, which uses blockchain to facilitate sharing of real-time information for a main policy written in the UK and three local policies in the US, Singapore and Kenya.

Infosys believes that there is a huge opportunity to use blockchain in business areas outside financial services. One such pilot that the software major is doing is for a US coffee company’s retail supply chain. Typically, a coffee company like Starbucks or Panera creates its own supply chain database and collects data from coffee growers and other ancillary businesses. Contracts between coffee growers and retailers can change frequently and needs to be captured for compliance purposes across all stakeholders.

To do all this, these ancillary businesses need to create their own supply chain, which may not talk to the IT systems of Starbucks. “With blockchain, you can get a dashboard in which all parties can look at the information and make decisions accordingly,” said Joshi.

Scope in insurance sector

Blockchain is starting to see some interest in insurance and mortgages too, as there are multiple parties involved in a transaction. “Building a shared, flat ledger managed by a trusted processing node is one of the key attractions for using blockchain tech,” said Rajesh Makhija, CEO — Wyde and Eldorado, Chief Marketing and M&A Officer — Mphasis Group, which is eyeing opportunities in the insurance sector.

Industry watchers point out that with blockchain adoption, business processes will get re-engineered, an area where software exporters rode with considerable success in the past.