Blockchain has become popular with lawmakers all over the world. The technology that was born as the backbone of Bitcoin is finding a home in numerous areas that aren’t connected to cryptocurrencies. Despite some detractors who have spoken out to the contrary, blockchain is a radically new way to store data.
Governments have to deal with a lot of data. Managing the records for social benefits eats up a lot of time and resources, and blockchain could make a big difference in areas like this. Many nations also see blockchain as a sector that needs to be nurtured for reasons of competitiveness, as a mature blockchain development culture will likely be an economic asset.
Initial skepticism about blockchain’s future seems to have evaporated. Now it looks like there is a global race to build up blockchain-friendly legal structures, and implement it at the highest levels of governance and industry.
China’s Curious Blockchain Stance
China was an early leader in crypto mining and use. This all changed over the last two years, and today the exchange and mining of cryptos in China is strongly discouraged. On the other hand, a government sponsored entity called the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) is ranking the most popular cryptos on a monthly basis.
China may be beginning to understand that blockchain technology is probably going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Despite the fact that they are doing everything to discourage the trade in cryptos, China is actively encouraging the development of blockchain applications outside of the unregulated crypto sector.
The China Central Television Network (CCTV) recently aired an hour long special on blockchain, which was extremely supportive of the technology. According to Western sources, the CCTV special said that, “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet,” and went on to express ideas that have their roots in pro-blockchain experts like Dan Tapscott.
Last year CCTV was blasting nearly anything blockchain related, so this 180 degree shift in message is worth noticing. The change in tone seems to go right to the top of the Communist power structure, with Chinese president Xi Jinping openly calling for his nation to speed the development of next-generation technology, blockchain included.
UK Looks to Make Blockchain Official
UK MP Eddie Hughes recently called for the government in his nation to create an official to oversee blockchain development. MP Hughes joins numerous lawmakers around the world in looking for ways to speed the implementation of blockchain technology in his country.
In his remarks, he detailed why supporting blockchain development is key to both government efficiency, and maintaining economic competitiveness. The number of blockchain professionals needed for new projects is exploding, and there are only so many to go around.
Eddie Hugges, UK MP, Image Source
If properly implemented, MP Hughes thinks that blockchain could save the government around 1% a year, which is a substantial amount of money. In addition to the initial cost savings, he also sees blockchain as a way for the UK government to increase the level of trust between the government, and the citizens.
Blockchain has the ability to store sensitive information, and also let people view it without compromising the integrity of the information. Allowing anyone to inspect government data would certainly bring a new level of public oversight to governance, and give elected officials a way to easily demonstrate what they are doing in cold, hard figures.
At the moment, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reported that over 40 percent of the 29 startups accepted to cohort 4 (an FCA sandbox) are working on some sort of blockchain platform. Focusing on blockchain will probably make nations far more competitive as the technology advances, as will attracting top talent from around the world.
South Korea Pledges $200 million USD for Blockchain Development
South Korea has been welcoming pretty much anything that relates to crypto or blockchain. Now they are pushing blockchain development forward with a fund that is reported to be worth more than $200 million USD. The goal will be to support blockchain platforms that address things like logistics, voting and property rights. All of these areas could be made more efficient with blockchain, but the stakes are likely higher than simply creating efficiency within South Korea.
Many of the sectors that blockchain shows potential to revolutionize aren’t national in scope. South Korea has some of the biggest ports in the world, and they join numerous other global logistical hubs in looking for ways to integrate blockchain into the global freight expediting system.
There are many systems that the modern world relies on that are archaic. The central banking system, as it exists today, has been around for more than a century in some nations. The settlement infrastructure to clear international sea-born trades is centuries old. Some people in banking are still resistant to how innovative blockchain is, but the nations that have to face up to a rapidly evolving global environment are clearly looking to blockchain for help.
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