UK Parliament Hearing to Highlight Government Blockchain Applications

A UK House of Lords committee will meet next week to hear testimony from academics and representatives of the blockchain industry.

AccessTimeIconJul 15, 2016 at 8:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:22 p.m. UTC
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A UK House of Lords committee will meet next week to hear testimony from academics and representatives of the blockchain industry.

Parliament announced today that the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords (Parliament's upper house) will meet on 19th July to discuss blockchain and potential applications for the UK government. The committee will notably feature testimony from Ben Broadbent, the deputy governor of monetary policy for the Bank of England who remarked this past March that a central bank-issued digital currency could have a major impact on banking.

In addition to Broadbent, witnesses set to speak include Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters; 11:FS co-founder and director of blockchain Simon Taylor; Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research associate director Dr Catherine Mulligan; Gresham College professor of commerce Michael Mainelli; and PwC transformation and assurance director Lord Spens.

According to Parliament’s announcement, the hearing will focus in part on public sector blockchain applications for the UK government, a topic that has seen interest from both within and outside of the government.

Specifically, the hearing will look into whether the technology could "be used to collect taxes or pay benefits", a question that comes after the UK Department of Work and Pensions began a blockchain welfare payments trial. The trial has since stoked concerns among privacy advocates, according to the Financial Times.

The hearing will also focus on regulation, central bank-issued digital currencies and the question of "what happens if the technology goes wrong?".

Testimony begins at 15:05 UTC, according to Parliament. A live broadcast of the hearing will be streamed here.

Image via Shutterstock

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