UK MP says blockchain can save the UK GBP 8bn
A British MP has made news by stating that blockchain technology could save taxpayers up to GBP 8 million. Eddie Hughes, a Conservative MP has stated that the British government needs to consider recruiting a Chief Blockchain Officer to enable an increase in trust and adoption of the fledgeling technology.
In a report issued, called ‘Unlocking Blockchain’ Hughes listed a number of other suggestions and recommendations that include an international blockchain competition and a UK blockchain developmental target. This target should provide “a long-term aim for government departments to make a 1% efficiency by embracing blockchain and other associated technologies.”
This saving of 1% would amount to approximately GBP 8 billion and would be overseen by the chief officer whose duty it is to oversee the application of blockchain technology in British public services databases.
The report was created by a think-tank with Conservative ties known as Freer. It makes various suggestions that businesses stand to benefit from an increase in the adoption of blockchain technology and that it could provide funding for both the industry and the economy as a whole.
Solving the trust deficit
Also mentioned in the report is the issue of a “trust deficit” which is described as a lack of public trust in government institutions that were created as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. These combined with a number of high profile scandals including the misuse of parliamentary expense accounts and allegations of harassment against charity workers.
“After a never-ending litany of betrayals of trust and instances of overreach, the political and financial establishments, companies, and voluntary organisations that were once seen as pillars of the community, are often now held in little more than near contempt by citizens”
Mr Hughes suggests distributed ledger technology as a way that the government and its institutions are able to create more trust and transparency and as a result, increase the faith of the public.
“Blockchain provides traceability and clear provenance. The blockchain holds all of the data from the start of the transaction, so the full history of any asset that is on the ledger can be known. There is no need to audit vast amounts of data, as the blockchain itself is the audit trail.”
Increasing operational efficiency
Also stated in the report is the fact that 82% of retail professionals believe that the implementation of blockchain technology could drastically increase operational efficiency through the “automation of labour-intensive processes”– something that would also yield savings, potentially in the billions.
Hughes then mentioned a report carried out by Santander that talked about how banks could greatly reduce their costs that are associated with cross-border transactions, compliance with regulations, and securities trading if they adopt DLT technology. He goes on to state that there could be possible savings of up to $20 billion by 2020.
Another interesting part of the report cites a study by the Dubai Blockchain Strategy that predicts that up to 25.1 million economically productive hours could be reallocated as a result of significantly reduced document processing procedures.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister has recommended that a full copy of the report be sent to every member of Parliament for their consideration.