In what could be seen as a Member of Parliament taking a stance against what has been standard UK government anti-blockchain rhetoric, Tory MP Eddie Hughes has weighed in on behalf of blockchain technology, stating that in his opinion, it is essential that Britain adopts such technology in order to progress into the future.
Eddie Hughes, the conservative MP for Walsall North in the British Midlands, earlier today (July 4) revealed that in his opinion the British government should create the position of a Chief Blockchain Officer in order to oversee the integration of blockchain technology throughout British society in order to increase commercial efficiency, rebuild trust in society, and enable social freedom.
“Unlocking Blockchain” by Eddie Hughes MP
In a 33-page, in-depth report written by Hughes which was published today, “Unlocking Blockchain” makes multiple recommendations including the appointment of a Chief Blockchain Officer, the integration of blockchain technology into British business and industry, the creation of an international blockchain, a competition to encourage the most talented of blockchain developers to compete against each other for a cash prize, plus this additional and specific proposal:
“A long-term aim for government departments to make a 1% efficiency by embracing blockchain and other associated technologies.”
Hughes believes that the 1% saving would amount to some £8 billion ($10.5 billion) in saved revenue. For maximum efficiency, a chief blockchain officer, a kind of “Blockchain Tsar” would need to be put in place to oversee the application and acceptance of blockchain technology across all UK public service databases.
Who Is Eddie Hughes?
49-year old Eddie Hughes began his political life back in 1999 when he became a counselor with his local Walsall Council. During his two decades there, he held several positions including being part of the decision-making cabinet, a role which primed his interest for a career in politics.
In 2017, Hughes ran for the position of Member of Parliament for Walsall North, defeating the previous holder David Winnick. Winnick was 83 years-old at the time and had held the position for 38 years. Since winning his place in office, Hughes – who is married with two grown up children – has campaigned for more frontline police on UK streets, specifically raising the issue with Prime Minister Teresa May in the House of Commons.
UK Public Has A “Trust Deficit” Toward Government
In his report, Hughes addresses what he refers to as a “trust deficit,” which is a lack of public trust in government institutions which came about largely after the 2008 financial crisis. What followed were a “series of serious public scandals”, which ranged from the blatant misuse of parliamentary expense accounts, to claims that members of Parliament harassed and abused charity workers. As Hughes says:
“After a never-ending litany of betrayals of trust and instances of overreach, the political and financial establishments, companies, and voluntary organizations that were once seen as pillars of the community, are often now held in little more than near contempt by citizens”
Hughes sees both DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) and Blockchain Technology – even the acceptance and absorption of cryptocurrency – as a way in which UK Parliament can provide a far greater level of transparency in government institutions, which would go some way to gradually winning back the faith of the UK public:
“Blockchain provides traceability and clear provenance. The blockchain holds all of the data from the start of the transaction, so the full history of any asset that is on the ledger can be known. There is no need to audit vast amounts of data, as the blockchain itself is the audit trail.”