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MP calls for UK government to get behind blockchain

The Government has been urged to get behind blockchain in a bid to transform the nation's data systems. 

Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall, has published a new paper highlighting the opportunities that the UK could benefit from by embracing blockchain technology, with a number of recommendations.

This includes appointing a public-facing Chief Blockchain Officer who would be responsible for co-ordinating efforts to get the technology into public sector organisations across the country.

UK Government Blockchain

Hughes recommends establishing a UK-based international blockchain competition to both inspire British entrepreneurs and attract international investment into home-grown companies.

He also proposes a UK ‘blockchain departmental target’: a long-term aim for government departments to make a one percent efficiency saving by embracing blockchain and other associated services.

Doing so will create an, "unrivalled opportunity to begin to review and redesign the UK’s data systems," Hughes wrote in his paper, which was published by Institute of Economic Affairs thinktank FREER.

"Whitehall and public services could be fundamentally rewired to empower citizens and better serve their needs," he added."

"We should encourage digital entrepreneurship. By introducing a departmental target for blockchain efficiency savings, we can begin to generate a digital dividend to pass on to tax payers or to reinvest. And we can use a mix of classical liberal values and new technologies to strengthen individual freedom and improve the life chances of all."

 "We must harness the energy of entrepreneurial spirit created by these new world-changing technologies to ensure the future is freer. 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."