Momentum has been growing in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. After all the arguments over it during 2017, we have arrived at a point where we can see the seeds sown have taken root and the sense of ‘when’ has superseded ’if’ in the question about mass adoption.
During 2018, there has been further debate over it, but we have seen some very positive advances in blockchain use, quite apart from what we might call ‘the usual suspects’ — Facebook and Amazon –solidifying their activities in the new technology sphere.
When these companies use blockchain, it’s a bit like hanging out a neon sign, but when governments start to talk up blockchain, it’s more like a fully illuminated Times Square. Suddenly, everyone sits up and takes notice.
So, which governments are leading the battle charge for blockchain? Well, there are five that are of particular interest, and one or two might surprise you.
United States of America
Interestingly, the USA, where so many blockchain entrepreneurs are based, has been slow out of the starting blocks in relation to blockchain and crypto. According to Cointelegraph, the U.S. Treasury Department is “currently running a pilot program to determine whether Blockchain technology can be utilized for supply chain management,” and federal agencies are exploring the potential for using blockchain technology in government departments.
China has blown hot and cold over blockchain. It has been decidedly frosty about ICOs and cryptocurrency, but much warmer about the adoption of blockchain technology by government departments. We are also seeing cities like Nanjing announce billion dollar blockchain funds to support the development of blockchain-based enterprises and it seems clear that China will promote the use of this technology for business purposes.
In Europe, Spain may not be a crypto hub like its neighbou Gibraltar, but it is doing some interesting things with blockchain in the governmental and banking sectors. The Spanish government is supporting projects like Navibration, a Spain-based technology company aiming to create a social network of audio-guided tours, which will help its massive tourism sector. And BBVA bank, as well as Santander, are both using blockchain technology for loans and international money transfers.
Japan is crypto friendly and has made bitcoin legal tender. Also, in an effort to reel in even more investment capital, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Accelerator Program started hosting the “Block Chain Business Camp Tokyo; the goal being to promote blockchain projects that have the potential to improve Tokyo residents’ quality of life.
This is another country that has been in favour of blockchain technology for some time. According to Cryptovest, “Australia’s federal government has decided to invest A$2.2 million ($1.6 million) in a blockchain initiative as a way to make its key sugar production more competitive, local media reported on Tuesday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition backed Sustainable Sugar Project, which targets Queensland, the major sugar export region of Australia.”
There are a significant number of blockchain companies in Australia, and this country is one to keep an eye on, because it could become a major blockchain influencer.