Ireland’s Finance Department Plans Blockchain Working Group

Leigh Cuen
Mar 23, 2018 at 16:00 UTC
news

Ireland’s Department of Finance has proposed the creation of a new blockchain working group to help create cohesive regulation across government agencies.

Revealed in a new report, titled “Virtual Currencies And Blockchain Technology,” the working group would aim to help bring a coordinated approach to rules around cryptocurrencies and monitor developments in blockchain technology, “addressing considerations raised by consumers, industry, the EU, and governments worldwide.”

Elsewhere in the report, the finance department estimates that 6.3 percent of venture capital invested in the country from 2012 to 2016 went to Ireland-based blockchain businesses – a figure it says dwarfs the capital invested in such projects across the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

From supply chain experiments by the Irish Dairy Board to cryptocurrency startups, this growing sector has captured regulators’ attention.

The report’s authors urge lawmakers to provide clarity to consumers about what protections are available when transacting with virtual currencies, give entrepreneurs a clear regulatory framework, and “equip Ireland with a differentiating competitive advantage in securing foreign direct investment” in blockchain projects.

They go on to warn over criminal activity and volatility, but take an optimistic view, saying:

“Although criminality associated with virtual currencies represents a risk to governments, there is evidence to suggest that the majority of virtual currencies are purchased by investors and legitimate owners.”

The paper also suggests that blockchain technology could help boost efficiency and reliability across the financial sector, including securities settlements.

Dublin, Ireland image via Shutterstock