UK’s stance on blockchain discussed by Digital Minister, Margot James

Margot James, the Digital Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport [DCMS], UK appeared as the key speaker at the recently held Blockchain Live 2018 event in London. At the event, James discussed the government’s stance on the blockchain technology and the wide use cases of the technology.

Margot James stated that the UK government was fully committed to encouraging the development and adoption of new technologies in the country.

Furthermore, James cited the example of UK’s Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] that had an eye on blockchain technology. She stated that the regulatory body had incorporated a security mechanism wherein they proceed to test products and services in a live market set up with relevant “safeguards” in place. Margot also stated that the aforementioned approach was a pioneering one and was now being employed across the world.

Furthermore, Margot James stated:

“And across the first two cohorts of companies supported by this process, the most popular technology employed has been blockchain.”

The Minister also stressed upon understanding the importance of blockchain technology and looking beyond applying blockchain technology only in the financial sector. James exemplified its use cases with numerous examples including the partnership between the tech-giant IBM, Nestle, Unilever, and Walmart.

The big names have partnered to create a system that enables tracing the source of contaminated food products that will be powered by a blockchain technology. The minister also mentioned that in the recent months, she had the opportunity to meet several companies that were focused on developing blockchain-based applications to improve the supply chain industry and build an increased trust in social funding.

She concluded by stating:

“Actions like this, which work behind the scenes for consumer protection, have the capability of making huge improvements to peoples’ lives.”

On the contrary to their interest in the blockchain technology, the recent discussion regarding cryptocurrencies in the UK is of notable interest. In September, the United Kingdom’s Treasury Committee published a report which outlined several conclusions and recommendations for the general public.

Despite the major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin [BTC] and other altcoins making their presence in certain groups and industries in the UK, the treasury was convinced that “it’s here to stay” and that it did not pose any inherent value.

The committee confirmed that the use of blockchain technology in financial and supply chain sectors had been beneficial for those industries. However, the committee believed that such cannot be pursued independently. The firm further stated that they were willing to support such ventures if the government fully understood the existing issues in a project and identified blockchain as the right fit.

The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] backing the Treasury Committee issued a statement that said:

“The FCA agrees with the committee’s conclusion that Bitcoin and similar crypto-assets are ill-suited to retail investors, and as we have warned in the past, investors in this type of crypto-asset should be prepared to lose all their money.”

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