A new report, publicized in the Guardian article, says that Britain is in pole position to become a global leader in blockchain and crypto technologies. The analysis, which was conducted by think thanks Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global, and Deep Knowledge Analytics, claims that all of the necessary capabilities alongside the political will is there for Britain to become a global blockchain hub by 2022.
UK-based blockchain companies have been in the sights of venture capitalists and other investors, with over £500m invested in them over the past couple of years, according to the study. The researchers correctly considered blockchain industry to be in its infancy, therefore the door for British leadership is still wide open, given the favorable regulatory outlook towards crypto businesses.
Sean Kiernan, CEO of DAG Global claimed that “The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy. The gap between the two worlds of traditional finance and crypto economy remains, but in the coming years we can expect this to lessen and eventually disappear.“
Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of Big Innovation Centre emphasized the positive governmental position on blockchain, saying that, “Blockchain has been recognized by the UK parliament as a very important and disruptive technology, and it has shown commitment to support the accelerated development of the digital economy via a variety of government initiatives. We are still at the early stages of the blockchain industry’s development and the huge impact it undoubtedly will have in Britain and globally.“
The UK has been making strides towards wider implementation of the distributed ledger technology with numerous state-backed initiatives. National Archives of the UK announced last month it was exploring using blockchain to create immutable entries of digital records, so that “no individual or institution could attempt to rewrite history.”
A Conservative MP Eddie Hughes claimed that implementing blockchain across a range of governmental services would result in savings of £8 billion and called on the government to embrace the nascent technology as it “offer an unrivaled opportunity to begin to review and redesign the UK’s data systems.“
However, not everyone in Britain is pro-crypto. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England claimed that bitcoin is not even a store of value and that “nobody uses it as a medium of exchange“, which is clearly very far from the truth. His colleague, deputy governor Sam Woods, cited numerous risks, volatility and illiquidity, also relating virtual currencies to money laundering and terrorism, failing to see any positives in the budding industry.
While hearing such claims from one of the most powerful people in British finance is slightly worrying, the overall regulatory stance seems far more favorable, especially towards the development of blockchain initiatives. This gives us hope that Britain might actually on the path of becoming a crypto economy leader. Doing it on a global scale might be a bit too ambitious, however paving the way for blockchain innovation in Europe certainly seems feasible for Britain.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.