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Indian Government Launches Blockchain Initiative With 5ire, Network Capital

The Indian Government's apex public policy think tank, NITI Aayog, has launched a blockchain module in partnership with crypto-focused 5ire and Network Capital, a mentorship and career exploration platform, they said Monday.

The project is under the aegis of NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which has Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in more than 10,000 schools in India. AIM and ATL are part of India's initiative to "create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship."

During an online launch, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, dission director of AIM, thanked 5ire's leadership for working "actively with ATL to do this blockchain module."

The Indian government's partnership with 5ire is significant since the startup gained attention for raising $100 million in July to become, in the company's words, "[the] world's first blockchain unicorn with sustainability at its core" as it looked to align itself with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Since 5ire's product (its mainnet) has not been launched yet, developments around the organization remain of interest. The company said in July it raised the $100 million from U.K.-based conglomerate Sram and Mram in a Series A funding round. However, just $20 million of that has been funded to this point, both parties confirmed to CoinDesk on Monday.

"We have received the first tranche of $20 million and we are eligible for the second tranche but we do not need the money right now so we are not taking the money," Pratik Gauri, CEO and co-founder of 5ire, explained. "We got $10 million on the day of signing and $10 million in November 2022," he added.

In an email exchange with CoinDesk in July, Raghav Ram Kapur, director, Sram and Mram Group, said one of the pre-requisites for the funding was that 5ire's mainnet go live by January 2023.

Asked today about that statement, Kapur admitted to a mistake, saying he meant to say testnet instead of mainnet. 5ire's Gauri confirmed as much, telling CoinDesk, "We have never stated a date for the mainnet. This was a mistake."

According to a blog post dated Jan. 13, 2023, on the 5ire website, the testnet occurred on Nov. 30, 2022, and the estimated date for the mainnet is the third quarter of 2023.

Read More: 5ire Raises $100M to Fund Expansion of Sustainable Blockchain