“The progress of mankind is marked by the rise of new technologies and the human ingenuity they unlock.”

That’s the glowing foreword to a new report on blockchain and distributed ledger tech issued by the UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser this week.

Taking a positive outlook on the emerging technology, the document recommends a broad government initiative to develop and demonstrate blockchain and distributed ledger technology, one that has caught the attention of the global media while emboldening the growing chorus of “blockchain” enthusiasts.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from proposal is that the UK government was encouraged to pursue applications of the technology.

Author Mark Walport wrote:

“Distributed ledger technologies have the potential to help governments to collect taxes, deliver benefits, issue passports, record land registries, assure the supply chain of goods and generally ensure the integrity of government records and services.”

However, Walport goes on to make a series of additional recommendations that foretell how the UK government could move forward on his suggestions.

For those who missed the report, we’ve compiled five of its most compelling takeaways below:

1. Use blockchain tech

Government’s first role in supporting the development of distributed ledgers is to develop a vision of how the technology can improve the way government does business and delivers services to citizens, Walport wrote.

He then recommended that government should act as an “expert customer” and itself start using the technology.

In doing so, he argues government can “support and influence” the development of economic activity in this sector.


Provide ministerial leadership to ensure that government provides the vision, leadership and the platform for distributed ledger technology within government.

Specifically, the Government Data Service should lead work in government as a user of distributed ledgers and the DCMS Digital Economy Unit should lead work on government as an enabler of distributed ledgers (working with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and with Innovate UK).