In the UK, Eddie Hughes, the new Conseravtive member of parliament (MP) for Walsall North has put forward the idea that the country should appoint a Chief Blockchain Officer.
“It sounds like a good idea”
Hughes works with the libertarian Conservative think tank Freer UK with whom he co-authored the paper, although the Financial Times didn’t think that Unlocking Blockchain was up to much and asked him personally why he was so enthusiastic about “Blockchain for Bloxwich” (that’s near Birmingham where he lives). It turns out that Eddie doesn’t know anything about the technology, but he just thinks it “sounds like a good idea.” He’s done well then to publish a 36-page paper and have opinion pieces on the blockchain published in The Telegraph and Huffington Post.
He’s asking for the UK government to appoint a public-facing Chief Blockchain Officer, “who could coordinate government work on blockchain across different departments and ministries, and for a “blockchain departmental target”: “a longterm aim for government departments to make a 1 per cent efficiency saving by embracing blockchain and other associated innovative technologies”.
Mr Hughes also believes that “a blockchain strategy led by the U.K. government would be an effective way to make the country more competitive worldwide.” With the UK government, led by Mr Hughes’ Conservative party, struggling to negotiate its exit from the European Union, perhaps the blockchain looks like it might be the country’s salvation if, as many fear, both in Britain and the EU, that the UK will crash out next year, leading to an economic crisis.
British MPs and Lords talk up blockchain
It seems that Eddie Hughes is not the only Conservative MP looking with interest at blockchain technology. Grant Shapp was at the blockchian conference in London last week giving a speech “Building a Blockchain Britain’. The House of Lords has also released a report stressing the opportunities around blockchain for government services.
It seems that even if the Financial Times had reservations about the paper from Eddie Hughes and Freer UK, the prime minister Theresa May didn’t have any such misgivings — she suggested he distribute the paper to all members of parliament.
What could possibly go wrong?