A report out today by Gov.uk, the UK government information website discusses a talk from RT Hon Matt Hancock MP at the Law Society at the London Blockchain Conference, which took place yesterday evening (18th of April 2018).
We know of late, the UK government have been establishing plans to pay close attention to blockchain technology, in order to establish fair and reasonable regulations through which, hopefully, UK citizens will be encouraged to use cryptocurrencies, safely.
Hancock highlighted three areas in which he believes the UK could benefit from blockchain integration these include; the financial sector, government services and innovation.
His talk provides a promising insight into how the government in the UK plan to integrate blockchain technology into society. With the current cryptocurrency task force working in the background, people have had a number of concerns about where the UK will go with this. We are considered as a nation on the fence and, at the end of the day, could follow the footsteps of heavy regulation as we have seen in Mexico and India. Moreover, our regulation plans could see us work alongside countries like Japan, where cryptocurrency is indeed able to flourish.
Optimistically, Hancock states:
“We now have a newer generation of blockchain allowing the transfer of a wider array of assets and the encoding of more complex rules and programmes. And there is no sign of this pace of innovation slowing. It is wonderful to see everyone coming together today to explore the potential of blockchain and look at how it can be adopted even more quickly. This is something I care about very strongly and you can be sure that the Government will be supporting you.”
Continuing the talk, Hancock discusses the various other applications of blockchain technology. Of course, he accepts the main features of currencies such as Bitcoin, but Hancock gives off the impression that the UK government really want to explore the blockchain as an entire entity in its own right. He refers to an interesting World Food Programme Project:
“The World Food Programme is running a pilot in a Jordanian refugee camp, where over 10,000 Syrian refugees can buy food from local shops with merely a scan of their eye. There is no need for cash, credit cards or paper; the transactions are instead recorded on the blockchain. And blockchain-based cryptoassets are now being developed to reward solar electricity generation, to support the provision of clean water, and to provide innovative models of charitable giving. So the benefits are clear and we want to see them here in the UK.”
Once again, Hancock is viewing the blockchain in a very positive light here.
The speech really does take a very optimistic look into how blockchain technology can make the UK a better place, a stark contrast to the rumours of a regulatory crackdown, something which we do all fear could happen.
What was the point in this speech?
Well, this could just be a ploy to pacify us and lead us to believe that the blockchain is indeed safe in the UK, whilst the task force generate harsh regulations. This does seem unlikely though. I do believe that the UK government are really open to cryptocurrency adoption, of course, they will want to find a way to profit from it. Hopefully, the nature of the blockchain can protect us from that.
You can read a full transcript of the speech here, I would highly recommend you do so too-
Featured Image Original Source: Flickr – Great Photo By Rian Saunders