Conservative MP Eddie Hughes has called for the UK government to appoint a chief blockchain officer to coordinate the nation’s strategy on applying blockchain technology to public services and data, City A.M has reported.
In a Wednesday report titled “Unlocking Blockchain”, the Tory MP said that the government should focus on using the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies to enable social freedom, increase efficiency and rebuild societal trust.
Another of Hughes recommendations was that government departments should have a “long-term goal” of using blockchain and other associated innovative technologies to reduce government expenditure by one percent. This would equate to savings of as much as £8 billion on the government's 2017-18 managed expenditure expectation, City A.M. notes.
Hughes also proposed an international blockchain competition to be held in the UK to drive entrepreneurship and attract leading global players to develop technology. Such a competition could be funded by companies that hat would benefit from improved national technological standards, he added.
The report comes a day after the UK’s financial watchdog announced that 29 firms had been accepted to its fourth regulatory sandbox cohort. Over 40% of these are focusing on distributed ledger technologies, according to the statement.
“Cohort 4 has seen a large increase in the number of firms testing wholesale propositions including firms that are aiming to increase the efficiency of the capital-raising process. Alongside these we can see significant use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), some experimentation with cryptoassets which will help inform our policy work and propositions aimed at helping lower income consumers,” Christopher Woolard, executive director of Strategy and Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in the statement.
The FCA further detailed that six firms were using DLT to automate the issuance of debt or equity, while two were utilising the tech to support the provision of insurance. “Other technology applied includes geo-location technology, use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and artificial intelligence,” the regulator said.