Britain Looking at Blockchain for Tracking Taxpayer Money, Payments

by Joseph Walent 0

The potential applications for block chain are seemingly limitless, given the broad reaching public discourse and announcements of investigation how a verified distributed ledger might be employed. The featured article reports on comments made by officials in the British government that further advance the discussion.

Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock said the government was examining how the technology could be used to manage and keep track of the distribution of public money, such as grants and student loans, saying it could “foster a new culture of trust”.

In this case, the increased transparency that would result from the use of a blockchain driven distributed ledger to record dispensation of public funds would certainly improve accountability, but having an agreed upon event recognized does not constitute “trust”. With that in mind, it is understandable that various industries and organizations will look to explore the opportunities the use of blockchain technology may generate.

It is still early days for blockhain: The original bitcoin blockchain was started just over seven years ago, and most financiers and technologists reckon the technology will not be adopted broadly for another five to 10. Many compare the current level of development to the early days of the Internet.

Mercator Advisory Group continues to track developments around the use of blockchain technology to effect and record payment events across all sectors as it evolves beyond its proof of concept within Bitcoin. Please see our recent note Blockchain in Corporate Banking: What’s Up?, for some of our insights.

Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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