As Facebook announces plans to launch a cryptocurrency, London can seize the moment and drive towards becoming a blockchain-powered city, says Tapiwa Senah, Ambassador of start-up Ideal App Technology.
Thanks to Facebook’s recent announcement that it’s developing a cryptocurrency, blockchain is in the mainstream news. Facebook wants Libra to become a global currency that could help 1.7 billion people without a bank get access to financial systems.
I admire Facebook’s ambition and it’s exciting to see blockchain beginning to be talked about by ordinary people and not just tech experts and crypto traders.
People are starting to see an application to this technology that they can understand and that fits in with their lives. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise society and London is perfectly placed to lead the way.
Although, anxiety is running high about the future of our capital as an international financial centre after Brexit, blockchain provides an opportunity for London to hold onto its status as a global leader.
Ideal App Technology recently hosted a summit to debate London’s post-Brexit role in the world. Guests with backgrounds in technology and business heard from a panel of experts in the fields of blockchain including Dr Chris Moore from the Department of International Trade.
Dr Moore is a technology specialist who assists companies to grow in the UK and internationally. With 25 years’ experience in the industry, he specialises in artificial intelligence and data analytics. His primary focus in the discussion was on the technology that London currently has to offer which suggests its possible for it to become a blockchain-powered city.
Dr Moore said, “The blockchain landscape in the UK provides a positive environment for businesses to grow and the tech sector is rapidly expanding due to the usability of blockchain platforms.
“The potential in this area of technology is recognised by the government, who is championing its use in many areas including health, cyber, fintech, fashion, retail and life sciences.
“Many institutes, universities and businesses are making the most of the opportunities. The Alan Turning Institute, for example, is a relatively new enterprise, but it has already earned itself a reputation as a key institute in leading developments in blockchain.”
The building blocks are being laid and now is the time to draw on our capital’s strong technology and business platforms by continuing to support start-ups and invest in the great ideas being developed.
In a blockchain-powered city, we will use the technology to keep sensitive data about citizens secure, monitor driving behaviour in order to manage traffic flows and help control pollution, and manage waste more effectively. The city will be cleaner, healthier and more efficient.
As Dr Moore explains, we have a workforce ready to lead the fifth industrial revolution.
“London is a great place to find top talent. People often talk about shortages in the tech industry, but London is the central hub of tech in the UK.
“Added to this, the UK is an easy place to do business compared to many other countries and the guaranteed development of blockchain will only add to that ease.”
There are exciting times ahead and its important, particularly as the UK prepares to exit the EU, that we seize the opportunity that blockchain offers to drive the capital forward and maintain its global standing.