Blockchain and smart contracts are to feature among the U.K. government’s key technologies as it works at pushing its digital strategy plan, in a policy paper unveiled earlier this month.
The paper, UK Digital Strategy 2017, by the Department for Culture Media & Sport, highlights a number of areas, which are intended to support the advancement of the digital space in the U.K. The paper pinpoints the Digital Catapult Sector, ‘a space for technologists, creatives from business and academia to collaborate and develop their new ideas and showcase their products to the UK and the rest of the world.’
The paper didn’t divulge much information as to how the blockchain would be applied; however, it stated that the technology would be applied to three market sectors: marketing, health and care and creative industries.
Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said in the paper that:
This government is committed to seeing this enormous potential fulfilled – to ensuring the UK is the best place to start and grow a digital business, trial a new technology, or undertake advanced research – and that the UK digital sectors remain world-leading.
Attracting a Strong Skill Base
According to the paper, digital sector companies employ around 80,000 people from other European Union countries, out of the total 1.4 million people working in U.K. digital sectors.
Bradley states that the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has been clear that she wants the U.K. to attract the best to study and work in Britain after it leaves the EU, recognizing the importance that the technology sector holds for Britain.
And yet, in light of last June’s EU Referendum, uncertainty has been circulating around Brexit, which saw the U.K.’s fintech funding fall by around 33 percent, down from $1.2 billion in 2015 to $783 million in 2016.
With the U.K. just about holding on to the top spot for fintech, reports are circulating saying that China could potentially push the U.K. off the number one position.
Despite this, though, Britain remains an attractive location for startups to establish themselves and grow their companies.
This can be seen by the fact that the U.K. has signed several agreements with different countries to boost its fintech standing. A few agreements include those signed with Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
By setting Britain up now will help to give the country a solid foundation to build from once it removes ties from the EU.
Featured image from Shutterstock.