UK Isle of Man Government Bullish on Blockchain

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The Isle of Man Government has begun to use the first public service based on Blockchain technology, with a model that one of its developers said could soon be replicated in the UK.

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The Department of Economic Development in the Crown dependency has begun to use a Blockchain registry as a record of which companies on the Isle of Man are active in using the system of distributed online ledgers.

It has been developed by the island’s Government with the Manx ICT Association and Credits, a company that provides a platform for using the technology.

Nick Williamson, chief executive officer of Credits, said the service is supporting the Isle of Man’s regulation of the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum, based on the Proceeds of Crime Act. It is also demonstrating the principles behind Blockchain as the basis for other uses.

“It’s been done as a way of showing you can access the Blockchain to validate trust and availability in the services,” he said.

“It’s up and running in the Department for Economic Development as an internal list, and in the next week or so we will put it out publicly so anyone can download and access the registry.”

Timestamped transactions

Blockchain emerged initially to provide a public ledger of bitcoin transactions, and has been developed to provide a mechanism to check on the validity and audit a chain of transactions. It involves the use of blocks of timestamped transactions, all of which are linked into a chain.

Williamson said it can provide a means of assurance, with users being able to view the linked registries and confirm they were inserted by government employees.

“As a former tax haven they are making moves to add transparency to certain processes, to create a more open way of doing business,” he said. “This is leading them to take a lot of interest in the use of Blockchains.”

Williamson said that Credits and its partners are looking at other use cases with the Isle of Man Government. These are still largely hypothetical, but they do not necessarily involve the use of cryptocurrencies, and he hopes that further services could be launched within the next few months.

He added that the company has also been talking with a number of UK public authorities about creating services using Blockchain.

The news comes days after Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock, said that Blockchain has considerable potential for government, and that its use in managing the distribution of grants is already being investigated.

Earlier this year the Government Office for Science published a report that said distributed ledger technology could reduce fraud, corruption and error and promote more trust between government and the public.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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