18th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking Begins

ICDCN - 2017

The 18th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN-2017) began at IDRBT on January 05, 2017. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. D. Subbarao, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, National University of Singapore and Former Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

The conference spreads over three days from January 05-07, 2017 and was preceded by a couple of workshops on January 04, 2017. The ICDCN is a premier international conference focused on addressing advances in Distributed Computing and Communication Networks, which over the years, has emerged as a leading forum for disseminating the latest research results in these fields. Some of the previous editions of the ICDCN were hosted by other prestigious institutions such as National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University, Singapore (2016), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (2013), and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (2012).

Dr. A. S. Ramasastri, Director, IDRBT, welcomed the participants of the ICDCN-2017. In his welcome address, Dr. Ramasastri spoke about the work being done by the Institute at the intersection of Technology and Banking. He explained about the research leading to a White Paper on Blockchain Technology and focused attention on the Institute’s contributions, especially in the areas of Mobile Banking, Cloud Computing, Analytics, and Affordable Technologies.

Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao, in his inaugural address, highlighted the following key points:

Demonetization

Demonetization is arguably leading to a flurry of innovation in India’s financial sector by way of digitization of payments.

  • Two perspectives
    • Extension of a global trend of FinTech which is upending the finance industry
    • Discontinuous change in a low-income country from cash intensive economy to a less cash economy

Disruptive Innovation

The world of finance has witnessed rapid disruptive innovation over the last decade as a consequence of a magical combination of technology and financial engineering.

Fintech Revolution

  • From payments to wealth management, from peer to peer lending to crowd funding, a new generation of start-ups is taking aim at the heart of the industry and revolutionizing how finance is done.
    • Borrow money – peer to peer lending club
    • Transfer money – through independent payment systems rather than through a bank
    • Invest – online customized advice tailored to your needs
    • Fight cybercrime - financial services company that checks customer identities based on biometrics, behavioural profiling, push notifications and analytics across all cannels - from mobile phones to physical branches.

How will FinTech change finance? In three ways.

  • How will FinTech change finance? In three ways.
    • Costs to outstanding loans - 2% vs. 7%-8% for conventional banks
  • Clever new ways of assessing risk through social media review and usage of logistic firms
    • E.g: Motor insurance by how much you drive and how you drive.
  • Without the burden of geography, they are able to diversify risk
    • No geographical concentration and no asset liability mismatch.

Disruptive Innovation beyond Finance

  • Microfinance
    • Think about a concept of microfinance, which was in existence for a long time but took centre stage in 2006 when Grameen Bank, a Micro-Finance organisation founded by Dr. Muhammad Yunus received the Noble Prize. The world took notice of this amazing experiment of lending in small amounts to closely-linked communities
    • SHGs in India and AP – closely linked small communities on mutual guarantee, taking advantage of the fact that default is a social taboo.
  • What is disruptive innovation?
    • Wild and unexpected changes that radically restructure markets typically by harnessing new technologies. Egs. Mobile phones, digital photography, online retailing, MOOCS
    • Not necessarily new technologies – using technology alter a business model
    • Disruptive innovations usually find their first customers at the bottom of the market: as unproved, often unpolished, products, they cannot command a high price. Incumbents are often complacent, slow to recognise the threat that their inferior competitors pose.
    • Move up the value chain as successive refinements improve them to the point that they start to steal customers, they may end up reshaping entire industries.
  • Disruptive Innovation in India
    • Indian finance has seen disruptive innovation not just in payment systems but in savings, credit, micro insurance markets
  • What has made this possible?
    • Internet penetration: As digital payments industry survives and thrives on the internet, The National Optic Fibre Initiative under Digital India will link every village with a broadband connection. As the fastest growing internet economy in the world, India is slated to add 300 million internet users by 2020
    • Usage of smart phones: India currently ranks #2 in the world with over 1 billion mobile subscriptions. Of this, approximately 240 million consumers use smart phones and this base is projected to increase to over 520 million by 2020
    • Improved O2O (Online to Offline) presence: Online shopping, bill payment and mobile recharge are the foremost reasons for using a digital mode of payment. Sensing these opportunities, merger of e-commerce and e-wallet firms is adding synergy.
  • How will FinTech affect traditional banks in India?
    • Fintech will challenge the business model of banks and can potentially take away the more lucrative segments of baking business.
    • On cost: Deposits – low cost of funds but that may not be a comparative advantage because FinTech has no burden of regulation
    • On efficiency – tailor made products
    • On service
    • On trust.
  • How should banks respond?
    • Compete
    • Take over like they have done with ATMs
    • Build alliances
    • small banks and payment banks
    • cede the last mile to them.
  • Finally, banks following traditional models need to change their attitude and adopt the new trends in technology and banking system as well.

Authors spread across 15 countries are presenting 38 full papers (peer reviewed), addressing various application aspects and advances in the areas of Virtualization and Edge Computing, VANETs and Intelligent Systems, Security and Coalitions, Resources Management, Complexity, Locality and Mobility in Distributed Computing and Networking. The papers are authored by leading researchers from across the globe including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA; University of Patras, Greece; University of Windsor, Canada; University of Mannheim, Germany; Michigan State University, USA; University of Nevada, USA; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; University of Lisboa, Portugal; University of Paris, France, University of Bologna, Italy, and Technion, Israel. A total of 109 submissions were received for the ICDCN – 2017 and the acceptance rate is 34%.

A galaxy of renowned international researchers including Prof. Chaitan Baru, Senior Advisor for Data Science, National Science Foundation, USA; Prof. Paolo Bellavista, Academic Senate Member, University of Bologna, Italy; Prof. Sébastien Tixeuil, Professor, Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris, France; and Prof. Sukumar Ghosh, Professor, University of Iowa, USA, are participating. The ICDCN also includes three workshops focused key emerging areas:

  • International Workshop on Computing and Networking for Internet of Things
  • International Workshop on Algorithms & Architectures for Distributed Data Analytics
  • International Workshop on Distributed Platforms and Technologies for Financial Services, discussing the emerging trends in these areas.

Release of IDRBT White Paper on Application of Blockchain Technology to Banking and Finance in India

During recent years, the banking and financial sector across the globe is closely observing the developments in Blockchain Technology (BCT). BCT provides tamper-evident recording of the linked transaction history in a distributed network and has the potential to disrupt the financial business applications. The nature of BCT addresses risks and inefficiencies in multi-party systems and that is where its benefits will be most widely received.

IDRBT has taken the initiative of exploring the applicability of BCT to the Indian Banking and Financial Sector by involving all the stakeholders and also attempting a Proof of Concept (PoC) of applicability of BCT to a Trade Finance Application. Based on these continuous efforts, IDRBT has prepared a White Paper detailing the Blockchain technology, concerns, global experiences and possible areas of adoption in the Indian Banking and Financial Sector.

The first chapter of the White Paper introduces the cryptographic components, protocols and ledger classifications of blockchains. While the second chapter provides the advantages of BCT, the third chapter presents the potential areas of its application, both in currency and non-currency areas. The fourth chapter critically examines the crucial features required in banking and financial sectors – security, privacy, traceability and scalability. Drawing from the strength of analysis and the global experiences, the fifth Chapter proposes a prospective roadmap for adoption of BCT in the Indian Banking and Financial Sector. In order to gain first-hand experience of the implementation, the Institute organized a PoC of BCT for a typical trade finance application and the results of the PoC have been quite encouraging, giving comfort and confidence in the implementability of BCT.

The White Paper on Applications of Blockchain Technology to Banking and Financial Sector in India was released by Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao during the inauguration of the ICDCN-2017.

Click here to access the White Paper

Release of Staff Paper Series on Cloud Computing

On August 30, 2013, the Reserve Bank of India issued a circular to banks to examine the feasibility of shared IT resources, meaning cloud computing, to optimise the costs. The circular emphasized the need for banks to ensure privacy, confidentiality, security and business continuity. It is exactly in the same month, IDRBT brought out Cloud Security Framework for Indian Banking Sector.

Since then, there has been a gradual increase in the adoption of cloud computing in the banking sector. While big banks have been opting for the private cloud model, smaller banks, especially cooperative banks, have been looking at reliable options like the Indian Banks Community Cloud (IBCC) set up by IDRBT. The RBI has been encouraging urban cooperative banks to get their CBS hosted on IBCC, by providing suitable financial assistance.

It is in this context that we have chosen the theme of the third volume of IDRBT Staff Paper Series as Cloud Computing, which consists of four articles is mentioned as follows:

  • Cloud Computing Adoption in Indian Banks – A Survey
  • Analytics in Cloud
  • Mobile Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Computing Security.

The four articles cover to a great extent the whole spectrum of concepts, concerns, issues and implementations of cloud based solutions in the banking sector in India.

The third Staff Paper Series on Cloud Computing was released during the 18th ICDCN Conference

Click here to access the Staff Paper Series

Click here to visit ICDCN 2017 Website