An article published on The Guardian on 16 July 2018
Britain has required resources to be global hub for blockchain technology, analysts say
The UK is well-placed to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy, according to a new report.
Britain has all the required resources, as well as industrial and governmental will, to become a global hub for the technology by 2022, according to analysis by the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics.
Blockchain is a digital ledger that provides a secure and public way of making and recording transactions, agreements and contracts; its best-known use is bitcoin, the virtual currency. The database is shared across a network of computers and becomes a long list of chronological transactions that have taken place since the beginning of the network.
Sean Kiernan, the chief executive of DAG Global, said the gap would close in the UK between the traditional financial system and the crypto economy.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The report’s authors considered the £500m-plus worth of investments into UK blockchain companies that were made in 2017-18 and concluded Britain had the potential to become a world leader in the digital and crypto economy ecosystem within the next few years. The research was carried out in coordination with the all-party parliamentary group on blockchain.
“Blockchain has been recognised 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,” said Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of the Big Innovation Centre.
“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.”