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British MEP: London Needs to Embrace the Blockchain to ‘Stay Relevant’

A British MEP has said that the U.K. needs to embrace the blockchain in order for London to ‘stay relevant’ after Brexit.

In a report from the Business Insider, Kay Swinburne, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), said that it was important that the country embraced the distributed ledger, adding:

The U.K. post-Brexit: how does the City of London stay relevant? The City of London stays relevant by suddenly becoming the proponents of the new technologies and not just patching existing systems to make them work post-Brexit, actually leapfrogging.

The finance sector was the first industry to experiment with the blockchain to determine its use case potential. Banks such as JPMorgan, the Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Barclays, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the State Bank of India are just a few of the financial establishments that are embracing the technology.

So much so, that according to technology company IBM, the rate at which banks implemented the blockchain was ‘far faster‘ than originally believed in 2017.

Swinburne said:

We have a unique opportunity to actually make our markets more efficient using the new platforms.

In Swinburne’s opinion the potential of the blockchain can be compared to the next ‘Big Bang’ moment that took place in the 1980s when financial regulation led to increased activity in the City.

She added:

I genuinely think this is the U.K.’s opportunity, as it did with the Big Bang moment in the 1980s, this is it’s moment to leapfrog.

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is creating a number of distributed ledger technology applications. In September, it was reported that the regulator had teamed up with blockchain consortium R3 and the Royal Bank of Scotland to develop a blockchain-based application to improve the regulatory reporting of mortgage transactions.

However, Swinburne thinks now is the time to act to build on what’s already been achieved:

We’ve got proof of concept of DLT in so many areas. It now needs to be scaled up. We’ve got to take some risks. We have the opportunity to really make a difference in a way that I don’t think Europe post-Brexit is going to be able to do.

“The City needs to stay relevant,” she said.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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