A report has been published by the UK Government Office for Science which reveals the results of a recent review of the distributed ledger technology. The British Government is recommended to take eight optimisation steps.

The report was prepared by Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government, in December 2015 and signed by Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General and Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. The government lists tax collection, passports issuing, land registries, supply chain of goods, health care and other government records and services as possible areas of distributed ledger application.

“For the consumer of all of these services, the technology offers the potential, according to the circumstances, for individual consumers to control access to personal records and to know who has accessed them,” states the document.

The eight recommendations addressed to the UK Government specify the actions it should take in collaboration with the industry, academia and public sector in order to create and establish the system of services based on distributed ledgers.

The report begins with an explanation of the bitcoin technology but then defines its topic as “the algorithmic technologies that enable Bitcoin and their power to transform ledgers as tools to record, enable and secure an enormous range of transactions.”

“So the basic block chain approach can be modified to incorporate rules, smart contracts, digital signatures and an array of other new tools,” the review reads. 

Although the reputation of bitcoin might be dubious, the paper admits that digital currencies are “of interest to central banks and government finance departments around the world which are studying them with great interest (sic!).” The reason for this is the potential efficiencies which digital money offers, according to the report.


Sonya Belova