I am delighted to welcome the publication today, 3rd November 2021, of an incredibly useful overview of the 2021 UK Blockchain landscape. The overview breaks down on a company-by-company basis more than £1,6 billion worth of investments into UK blockchain companies, maps our entire blockchain ecosystem of entrepreneurial talent and sets out the most prominent use-cases for blockchain adoption. The scope of the document is clear in its full title, Blockchain Industry in the UK Landscape Overview 2021: Companies, Investors, Influencers and Trends.
I published a blockchain report back in 2017 ‘Distributed Ledger Technology for public good’ – highlighting the vast potential of the technology and calling for leadership, collaboration and innovation. We highlighted that the traceability and accountability of blockchain/DLT systems when matched with various public policy delivery challenges promised opportunities for the UK in areas such as:
- Border control, customs, trade and immigration;
- National security, criminal investigations, police and public safety;
- Taxation and benefits payments;
- Health assurance, patient record management, drug safety and treatment accountability;
- Food standards and safety, traceability and accountability;
- Privacy, cybersecurity and counter‐fraud; and
- Public procurement, contracting, payments, visibility of spending and asset traceability.
Over the years since that report I have worked with colleagues on developing a proof of concept in supply chain management. Working with Government agencies in both Australia and the UK and using a combination of blockchain/DLT and Internet of Things (IoT) devices the RFIT project demonstrates a comprehensive supply chain data management system for Australia/UK wine imports in which all the required trade information is generated at the point of commercial contract and all actors involved (from producers to importers via regulators, customs etc) have safe, assured and controlled access to the same data. I published another report on the project last year Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) report on “Reducing Friction in International Trade” (RFIT). – again calling for the Government to act.
Whether reducing friction in international trade, addressing the climate change challenge, decentralising and democratising finance or providing financial assistance to individuals through Covid, blockchain/DLT is playing a powerful role. Politicians and decision-makers must take a close look at the findings of this major blockchain landscape overview.
This 2021 landscape overview demonstrates that we have what we need in the UK to enable local, national, and global transformation through such new technologies. We are at a point in time, a moment in history, an opportunity to take every tool of our new technologies, develop, deploy and distribute them for the public good, common good, economic, social and psychological good. We can do this. It is our choice.