Thanks to history, it’s a little ironic that on America’s Independence Day we find a call for liberation in the United Kingdom.
As it is, a new report has come forward from Eddie Hughes
MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Titled “Unlocking Blockchain: Embracing new technologies to drive efficiency and empower the citizen“, the report outlines several recommendations and proposed efficiency solutions through blockchain technologies for the United Kingdom. Among those are for the UK to establish a Chief Blockchain Officer; all departments to efficiently use blockchain technology in order to cut 1% from government spending; and establish a UK-based international blockchain competition, “to drive homegrown entrepreneurship,
and to entice leading global players to develop technology here.”
The paper is being distributed by FREER, “a major new initiative from the IEA promoting a freer economy and a freer society,” according to the paper. “FREER’s mission to promote the value and virtue of economic and social liberalism.”
Hughes’ proposals reflect that liberal voice.
“The state should focus its attention on using blockchain to enable social freedom, to increase efficiency, and to rebuild societal trust,” he wrote. “The state should not be allowed to use such technology to intrude into the lives of individuals—but rather the technology should be used to empower individuals in their necessary engagements with the state.”
Pretty heady, if not idealistic. And while FREER states in the introduction that the paper has been submitted (digitally, of course) to all MPs, it remains to be seen how much action a government might actually be willing to take with a technology built on decentralization.
While the entire paper is worth the read and should be distributed to ALL national governments, Hughes’ conclusion delivers a worthy rallying cry:
“Blockchain and associated technologies offer an unrivalled (sic) opportunity to begin to review and redesign the UK’s data systems. Whitehall and public services could be fundamentally rewired to empower citizens and better serve their needs. We should encourage digital entrepreneurship. We must tackle the trust deficit. 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.”
Indeed, good sir. Indeed.
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