The Irish IDA (Industrial Development Authority) has given its full backing to a projected government initiative led by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to turn Dublin into “Europe’s Tech Capital.” Blockchain technology features strongly in the proposal, which was announced Wednesday. It’s hoped the move will attract the brightest tech talent from around the world to the Republic.
IDA Ireland is aiming to position the Republic as a major center for blockchain technology, following the Irish PM’s (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar’s rousing speech on Wednesday at the MoneyConf in Dublin. Varadkar revealed plans to turn his country into the “Tech Capital of Europe.” Ireland is already long-established as a technology hub, is geared toward attracting foreign investment, and offers highly favorable tax rates, so Varadkar’s plan is far from fantasy.
Meanwhile, the state funded Irish IDA is heading its own initiative named “Blockchain Ireland,” which is geared primarily toward promoting “innovation and co-operation” among all Irish businesses already working with blockchain technology. However, after Varadkar’s speech on Wednesday, Blockchain Ireland’s prime initiative is now the promotion of the Irish Republic as the perfect location for highly skilled foreign tech workers and technology-based businesses, ideally focused on the blockchain.
While to many, blockchain technology is still primarily linked with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, its potential is endless, and can also make a positive impact on digital services and transform business models and even governments. In many countries, blockchain technology is now incorporated into many sectors of society such as healthcare, insurance, finance, energy, and logistics.
In a recent interview with The Irish Times, the IDA’s chief information officer Keith Fingleton said this:
“IDA Ireland’s strategy has always been to identify and secure reference projects from leading technology companies. We regard blockchain as an area with huge potential and we are seeing great interest among IDA Ireland’s client base. This initiative will enhance the blockchain industry in Ireland and our position as a global blockchain center of excellence,”
This blockchain initiative is the brainchild of something called the “Irish Blockchain Expert Group”, an IDA Ireland-led forum. Other major backers who support the initiative of turning the Republic into a center for blockchain excellence include Ireland’s Department of Finance, Enterprise Ireland, and Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin’s Consensys company.