Over the years, there have been many suggestions on the implementation of blockchain technology across Europe. In late 2018, a group known as the Mediterranean seven pointed out the need for the EU countries to explore and initiate the blockchain technology in governments for the service of citizens. This article will introduce readers to some of the progress blockchain technology is making in three economic superpower countries.
The United Kingdom
The U.K has been predicted to be the leader of blockchain and cryptocurrency industry by 2022 according to a research made by the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global, and Deep Knowledge Analytics. According to the study, about 500 million pounds was invested in blockchain companies in the UK in 2017/2018. The U.K has already started the use of blockchain in many areas of the economy and the government institutions for effective delivery of services.
On 23 August 2016, the U.K government allowed the implementation of the Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) which uses the blockchain technology to disburse student loans and pay welfare cheques. The Department of Works and Pension took advantage by using a blockchain supported app to pay pensioners.
The bank of England has also been reported to have explored the implementation of Blockchain in its quest to modernize the Real-Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) by 2020.
The British Maritime Society as part of their innovations has developed a prototype blockchain platform that is intended to aid in a more efficient shipping registration.
Already, many top blockchain firms have broken out with new ones emerging. The United Kingdom is benefiting from Blockverify, a company that focuses on using the blockchain technology to identify counterfeits and help industries to verify products. Blockverify was founded by Pavlo Tanasyuk. With the ability to trace fraudulent transactions and also locate and provide details of stolen merchandise, this firm has been of great help to many industries in the United Kingdom. Blockverify has extended its services to pharmaceuticals to provide tracking service on products until they get into the hands of consumers. It also ensures that electronics received by users are authentic.
The United Kingdom has made progress in the implementation of Blockchain technology. They can boast of thousands of companies within the country that are making maximum use of the blockchain. It is, however, not only the implementation of the blockchain tech that is gaining more and more popularity in the UK, but also cryptocurrency trading and investing experiences a swift increase in this country.
The U.S.A is another economic superpower country that has taken blockchain to a whole new level. In a few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration declared their intention to apply for a blockchain in its services. The application had to do with the portable interactive devices (RAPID) to help them in exchange for patients’ data in the U.S critical illness and injury trails group network. Not just that, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), in coordination with the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC), announced their intention to apply for blockchain. This initiative was to help them to partner with Industries and academia to augment supply chain, and the next investor generation management capabilities to protect, treat and optimize warfighters health and performance in military operation. Also, the Department of the Homeland Security and The U.S. Department of Defense Transportation Command have declared their stands and intention to apply blockchain technology in their services.
The adoption of blockchain technology in the U.S government is very encouraging. The U.S seems to use the decentralized nature of blockchain, interoperability and reduced cost ability to the advantage of government departments.
Outside the government institutions, some firms in the U.S are making incredible initiatives with blockchain technology. American Express, for instance, filed a patent application for a blockchain based proof of payment system. The system will aid in unlocking a shared apartment door, rented room or hotel room once the blockchain verifies that the card was used to pay for the service. The company has also sought to utilize the blockchain for business to business transactions where businesses between U.K and U.S will handle instant payment. The U.S based company; International Business Machine (IBM) has partnered CULedger’s blockchain to use the permissioned blockchain technology to extend the reach of credit unions to accommodate new members. In addition, Walmart has also partnered with IBM in addition to nine food companies to create a blockchain which will enable them to track food globally on its supply chain. Bank of America has also applied for nine more blockchain related patents in a bid to create an efficient transaction for both individuals and businesses. The blockchain technology has been well employed in various companies and governments institutions in the United States of America.
The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is one of the few countries that have fully explored the possibility of correctly implementing blockchain in all areas of the economy. In 2016, Dubai launched a city-wide Blockchain Strategy to work on its intention to become the first blockchain powered country by 2020. The UAE recently started its first government endorsed blockchain platform delivered by smart Dubai and the IBM as part of their motives to go paperless by 2021. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai, hinted that they are one step away from implementing blockchain powered services and experiences in the daily lives of the citizen. To realize that there is a country that has taken the handiwork and idea of Satoshi Nakamoto to a whole new level is breathtaking and encouraging to the others who are yet to consider its greater use.
The biggest bank of Dubai; Emirates NBD has also taken a step to launch “Roll Out of Cheque Chain,” which uses the blockchain to improve upon the standard of security across the financial institutions in the country and the customers. The bank has also registered about 1 million leaves with the blockchain technology, and its seeking to open up cheque chain technology to collaborate with other banks in the UAE financial sector.
The government has also announced their intention to offer a standardized definition of blockchain and artificial intelligence at the federal level. Also, AI and Blockchain Guide initiative has been provided to all the local smart cities in the seven emirates.
The adoption of blockchain has extended to the private sectors as the NMC healthcare, and UAE Telecom partnered to record patients records within the Emirates on the blockchain. Blockchain has found its way into the financial, economic, and health sector of the United Arab Emirates and it is expected that they will be the first to become blockchain powered country as envisioned.