This week, the British Blcockahin Association (‘BBA’) published their position on “An Excellence Standards Framework for UK’s National Blockchain Roadmap”.

At its center, the detailed report consolidating insights from industry and academics puts forward a timely set of recommendations for the creation of a sustainable blockchain ecosystem.

Aware of the fact of ongoing industry studies and use case implementations revolving around distributed ledger technologies, blockchains, and the slew of applications that have the potential to be innovated, the report sets itself with the challenge of providing “evidence-based” principles and recommendations for DLT and blockchain leadership.

Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP writes a striking foreword to the report applauding the document’s advice as “an informative tool that can be used to construct the key components of the UK’s Blockchain economy”.

3 Key Components for a Thriving Blockchain Economy

  • Blockchain is not for a bubble but instead for use in collaboration with existing technologies that make the ocean of innovation even greater

One of the most common pushbacks that distributed ledger technologies face from regulators and governments is the lack of established standards that would otherwise govern and control fair operations on the blockchain network.

Tied alongside sensitive data items, governments, and regulators, as well as policy writers, are faced with a challenge in creating robust benchmarks that stand in the face of government, industry, society, and other relevant fields.

BBA Recommendation: Foster a Quadruple-Helix Model that synergizes government, industry, academia, and society in the open discussion for holistic benchmarks for blockchain compatibility in a manner that instills both trust and confidence in the technology.

  • Blockchain needs to gain positive public perception as a viable alternative

A common displacer of the blockchain discussion is found between technical and non-technical users coming to grips with how blockchain will impact their day-to-day lives.

In this context, there is a divide in expectations and knowledge of what blockchain is interpreted as. As one of my favorite advocates on the subject recurringly says in his mantra, Blockchain Won’t Save the World. Rather people will. But people, especially regulators and governments are skeptical and need to see use-cases for the technology.

BBA Recommendation: Kick-start and share a public repository of successfully implemented blockchain use cases. Couple this with an ongoing marketing strategy that pushes knowledge, lessons learned, and that encourages interaction from the public on where the government may look like a potential use case.

  • Blockchain needs a technocracy to thrive

Often, and unfortunate to the underlying cause of distributed ledger technology and blockchain, government and regulators become tied up to one type of use case of the technology. For the case of blockchain, no faster association to the technology is made than that with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The natural next association that gets roped in, is illegal money laundering and ransomware attacks that all but distort the prospect of, for example, the introduction and testing of a national digital currency.

A challenge for the majority, is the constant upkeep on developments, ongoing studies, and implementations that regulators should be looking at rather than the ones that are making the rounds on the news bulletins.

BBA Recommendation: Establish blockchain sub-specialty steering groups (SSGs) that augment regulators’ opinions on new and emerging markets where a more informed decision may come out.

Final Remarks

There are 17 further components that the BBA put forward in their proposal on a blockchain-enabled ecosystem. Covering an in-depth range of aspects from regulation, governance, compliance, and even societal awareness and appreciation of the technology, the document can be praised in its succinct manner that it presents a blockchain roadmap.

While tailored to the UK environment, there are lessons to be learned for other governments to take on board, re-model, and come out with a more contextualized set of recommendations.

With papers such as these, it may be sooner rather than later that ecosystem underpinned by distributed ledger technology and blockchain filter into the mainstream practices of government, industry, and citizen life.

For more information: