Conservative MP Eddie Hughes has written a report calling for the government to increase its focus on using blockchain, in a move that highlights the universal growth of this technology across all sectors.
The report, titled ‘Unlocking Blockchain’, was published by Tory digital think-tank Freer, and argues that London should become a blockchain hub.
Hughes says the retail and financial sectors have shown how blockchain can reduce operational costs. He also cites the use of this technology in Sweden in land registries, which is predicted to save over $100m each year through reduced paperwork and fraud elimination, as well as providing faster transactions. Hughes believes increased use of blockchain will enable social freedom and increase efficiency.
‘Unlocking Blockchain’ makes several recommendations for how the UK can best utilise this technology:
- The appointment of a government-backed chief blockchain officer to organise the UK’s blockchain strategy for public services and data
- A UK ‘blockchain departmental target’ for government departments to make a 1% efficiency saving by embracing blockchain and other associated innovative technologies
- An extensive international ‘blockchain competition’ should be set up in the UK to drive homegrown entrepreneurship, and to entice leading global players to develop technology here. This should ideally be established in collaboration with leading British universities, and funded by businesses that would benefit from improved national technological standards
Hughes says in the report: “Blockchain and associated technologies offer an unrivalled opportunity to begin to review and redesign the UK’s data systems. We should encourage digital entrepreneurship.
“By engaging now, and recognising blockchain’s potential, we can ensure it is used by the state to empower individuals, and to afford us real control over our own data.”